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  • weasel word
  • audio pronunciation
  • \WEE-zul-WURD\
  • DEFINITION

noun

: a word used in order to mislead a person or to avoid a straight answer
  • EXAMPLES

Instead of just saying outright that jobs are going to be cut, the head of the company has taken to using weasel words like "corporate restructuring."

  • DID YOU KNOW?

Some people believe that weasels can suck the insides out of an egg without damaging the shell. An egg thus weasel-treated would look fine on the outside, but it would actually be empty and useless. We don't know if weasels can really do that, but the belief that they could caused people to start using "weasel word" to refer to any term intended to give the impression that everything is fine when the speaker is really trying to avoid answering a question, telling the truth, or taking the blame for something.

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