prevaricate was our Word of the Day on 08/28/2015. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of prevaricate in a Sentence
Government officials prevaricated about the real costs of the project.
during the hearings the witness was willing to prevaricate in order to protect his friend
Recent Examples of prevaricate from the Web
Yes, Trump can delay, prevaricate, obfuscate, annoy and even shut down federal science.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prevaricate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Prevaricate and its synonyms "lie" and "equivocate" all refer to playing fast and loose with the truth. "Lie" is the bluntest of the three. When you accuse someone of lying, you are saying he or she was intentionally dishonest, no bones about it. "Prevaricate" is less accusatory and softens the bluntness of "lie," usually implying that someone is evading the truth rather than purposely making false statements. "Equivocate" is similar to "prevaricate," but it generally implies that someone is deliberately using words that have more than one meaning as a way to conceal the truth.
Origin and Etymology of prevaricate
First Known Use: circa 1625See Words from the same year
Synonymsfabricate, fib, 1lie
Related Wordsforswear (also foreswear), perjure; equivocate, fudge, palter; beguile, cozen, deceive, delude, dupe, fool, gull, hoax, hoodwink, kid, snow, take in, trick; defame, libel, slander, traduce; falsify, misreport, misrepresent, misstate; distort, garble; dissemble, dissimulate; misguide, misinform, mislead
Near Antonymsassert, swear, testify; authenticate, confirm, substantiate, validate, verify
Synonym Discussion of prevaricate
- lied about where he had been
- during the hearings the witness did his best to prevaricate
- equivocated endlessly in an attempt to mislead her inquisitors
- a swindler paltering with his investors
- fibbed about the price of the new suit
PREVARICATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of prevaricate for English Language Learners
: to avoid telling the truth by not directly answering a question
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