Synonym Chooser

How does the verb equivocate differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of equivocate are fib, lie, palter, and prevaricate. While all these words mean "to tell an untruth," equivocate implies using words having more than one sense so as to seem to say one thing but intend another.

equivocated endlessly in an attempt to mislead her inquisitors

When might fib be a better fit than equivocate?

While in some cases nearly identical to equivocate, fib applies to a telling of a trivial untruth.

fibbed about the price of the new suit

When is it sensible to use lie instead of equivocate?

While the synonyms lie and equivocate are close in meaning, lie is the blunt term, imputing dishonesty.

lied about where he had been

Where would palter be a reasonable alternative to equivocate?

The synonyms palter and equivocate are sometimes interchangeable, but palter implies making unreliable statements of fact or intention or insincere promises.

a swindler paltering with his investors

How do prevaricate and lie relate to one another, in the sense of equivocate?

Prevaricate softens the bluntness of lie by implying quibbling or confusing the issue.

during the hearings the witness did his best to prevaricate

Thesaurus Entries Near equivocate

Cite this Entry

“Equivocate.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/equivocate. Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

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