prevaricate

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v prevaricate be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or withhold information
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Prevaricate (Civil Law) To collude, as where an informer colludes with the defendant, and makes a sham prosecution.
    • v. t Prevaricate To evade by a quibble; to transgress; to pervert.
    • Prevaricate To shift or turn from one side to the other, from the direct course, or from truth; to speak with equivocation; to shuffle; to quibble; as, he prevaricates in his statement. "He prevaricates with his own understanding."
    • Prevaricate (Eng. Law) To undertake a thing falsely and deceitfully, with the purpose of defeating or destroying it.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • prevaricate To deviate; swerve from the normal or proper course; stray.
    • prevaricate To swerve from the truth; act or speak evasively; quibble.
    • prevaricate In law: To undertake a thing falsely and deceitfully, with the purpose of defeating or destroying the object which it is professed to promote.
    • prevaricate To betray the cause of a client, and by collusion assist his opponent.
    • prevaricate To pervert; cause to deviate from the normal or proper path, application, or meaning.
    • prevaricate To transgress; violate.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.i Prevaricate prē-var′i-kāt to shift about from side to side, to evade the truth: to quibble: :
    • v.t Prevaricate (obs.) to pervert, transgress
    • v.i Prevaricate prē-var′i-kāt (obs.) to undertake a thing with the purpose of defeating or destroying it
    • v.i Prevaricate prē-var′i-kāt (law) to betray a client by collusion with his opponent
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. praevaricatus, p. p. of praevaricari, to walk crookedly, to collude; prae, before + varicare, to straddle, fr. varicus, straddling, varus, bent. See Varicose
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. prævaricāri, -ātuspræ, inten., varicus, straddling—varus, bent.

Usage

In literature:

They are denounced as "insubordinate," "disturbers of the peace," and worthless prevaricators.
"The Indian Today" by Charles A. Eastman
This is not a time for prevarication.
"The Seven Secrets" by William Le Queux
First I want you to answer a question or two, straightly, without prevarication.
"Captain Desmond, V.C." by Maud Diver
So answer the questions I put to you without concealment or prevarication.
"The Free Lances" by Mayne Reid
I simply find it awkward and inconvenient to prevaricate.
"A Man of Two Countries" by Alice Harriman
He came after me beseechingly, and prevaricated.
"The Red Triangle" by Arthur Morrison
He was a liar by instinct and a prevaricator by trade.
"The Van Dwellers" by Albert Bigelow Paine
It's some prevarication or paradox.
"Somehow Good" by William de Morgan
He was not there to prevaricate, and he told them his rank and name.
"Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 6 of 8" by Various
So she sought refuge in prevarication.
"In Brief Authority" by F. Anstey
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In poetry:

From all the rest I single out you, having a message for you:
You are to die—Let others tell you what they please, I cannot
prevaricate,
I am exact and merciless, but I love you—There is no escape for you.
"To One Shortly To Die" by Walt Whitman

In news:

The candidate whose most identifiable promise was to provide open and transparent government instead is leading an administration rife with secrecy, stonewalling and prevarication .
Other research has delved into prevarication in the workplace.
Best Comedy went to Squishy Films and ICM for their black comedy/horror short Zombie Team Building, and the Best Drama award went to Minus Mitchell Films for their 1800s Western revenge saga Prevarication at Ponderosa.
The seminal award was given for the film Prevarication at Ponderosa.
Our public-health leaders must replace prevarication with imagination.
Interestingly, Feldman says that while studies show that men and women are equally prone to prevarication , they do it differently.
Call it polished prevarication .
) Lola/Mary then has to prove herself in her new world, which she does through a combination of genuine talent and a tendency toward self-dramatizing prevarication .
Sun should be nervous about the consequences of allowing its spokespeople to indulge in flames, spin, and prevarication when there are serious issues on the table.
The two things to watch for to indicate a rapid reversal in the gold down-trend and back to mark fresh highs are a higher Greek 10 year bond coupled with political prevarication - and the VIX index back above 40.
Unlike Chalfant, the jury of 12 citizens was not amused by Simon's prevarication .
I had a prevarication for witchy stuff.
This year the show will be referred to as the Great Prevarication Address, crediting events in 2011 like a Whodunit novel.
They are the enemies of ignorance and prevarication , and the allies of truth and enlightenment.
In these modern times, they can see nothing but prevarication and ruin.
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