prevarication


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pre·var·i·cate

 (prĭ-văr′ĭ-kāt′)
v. pre·var·i·cat·ed, pre·var·i·cat·ing, pre·var·i·cates
v.intr.
1. To speak or write evasively. See Synonyms at lie2.
2. (Usage Problem) To behave in an indecisive manner; delay or procrastinate.
v.tr.
To utter or say in an evasive manner.

[Latin praevāricārī, praevāricāt-, to straddle across (something), collude (used of lawyers) : prae-, pre- + vāricāre, to straddle (from vāricus, straddling, from vārus, bow-legged, bandy).]

pre·var′i·ca′tion n.
pre·var′i·ca′tor n.
Usage Note: The traditional meaning of prevaricate is "to speak or write evasively." In recent years, a second sense has developed, meaning "to behave in an indecisive manner; delay or procrastinate," perhaps influenced by equivocate, which primarily means "to speak evasively" but can also mean "to be indecisive." In American English, this second sense is widely considered an error, and a large majority of the Usage Panel finds it unacceptable. In 2011, 78 percent of the Panel disapproved of the "delay" sense of the word as used in the sentence He prevaricated for some two years before accepting the new design for production. This usage is more commonly encountered in British English, as in this quotation from the BBC News: As the industry prevaricated, sales collapsed.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.prevarication - a statement that deviates from or perverts the truthprevarication - a statement that deviates from or perverts the truth
falsehood, untruth, falsity - a false statement
fib, taradiddle, tarradiddle, tale, story - a trivial lie; "he told a fib about eating his spinach"; "how can I stop my child from telling stories?"
jactitation - (law) a false boast that can harm others; especially a false claim to be married to someone (formerly actionable at law)
whopper, walloper - a gross untruth; a blatant lie
white lie - an unimportant lie (especially one told to be tactful or polite)
2.prevarication - intentionally vague or ambiguous
equivocalness, ambiguity - unclearness by virtue of having more than one meaning
untruthfulness - the quality of being untruthful
3.prevarication - the deliberate act of deviating from the truth
falsification, misrepresentation - a willful perversion of facts
fibbing, paltering - a trivial act of lying or being deliberately unclear
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

prevarication

noun evasion, lies, deception, pretence, deceit, quibbling, misrepresentation, falsehood, untruth, falsification, equivocation, cavilling After months of prevarication, a decision has been made.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002

prevarication

noun
1. The use or an instance of equivocal language:
Informal: waffle.
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Translations

prevarication

[prɪˌværɪˈkeɪʃən] Nevasivas fpl
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005

prevarication

[prɪˌværɪˈkeɪʃən] natermoiements mpl
I'm tired of his prevarication → je suis las de ses atermoiements
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

prevarication

nAusflucht f; (= prevaricating)Ausflüchte pl, → Ausweichmanöver pl
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007

prevarication

[prɪˌværɪˈkeɪʃn] ntergiversazione f
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
References in classic literature ?
Godfrey left the room, hardly knowing whether he were more relieved by the sense that the interview was ended without having made any change in his position, or more uneasy that he had entangled himself still further in prevarication and deceit.
Campbell knew the uselessness of any prevarication with an Indian; and the importance of complete frankness.
could he stoop to such shameless prevarication as this?
If you persist in your present prevarication, I can, and will, make that sheet of note-paper you have stolen from me nothing but waste paper in your hands.
Which prevarication was bare-faced, by virtue of his having just installed the ram and piped the land.
He hesitated; and his answer, when he succeeded in making it, began with a prevarication.
Yet such was the consequence of his prevarication that he could not obey the call.
He moved for a time aimlessly in that good company, humming a popular but refined tune, and thinking vaguely of a business letter from abroad, which had to be answered on the morrow with cautious prevarication. Then, as he walked towards a wardrobe, he saw appearing at his back, in the high mirror, the corner of his wife's dressing- table, and amongst the glitter of silver-mounted objects on it, the square white patch of an envelope.
- answer me this instant, without prevarication! - which - which is your left eye?"
How could I expect her to put all her trust in me if I began by deceiving her--if I fell into prevarications and excuses at the very outset of our renewal of intercourse?
There was nothing unknown or unfamiliar in the path he was presumably to tread; but when he had trodden it before it was as a free man, who was accountable to no one for his actions, and could lend himself with an amused detachment to the game of precautions and prevarications, concealments and compliances, that the part required.
Jeremy Corbyn is pretty appalling with his prevarication but Walker doesn't even prevaricate - she simply ignores Brexit entirely.