Prevaricate meaning

prĭ-vărĭ-kāt
To prevaricate is to dance around the truth or speak evasively.

An example of prevaricate is what you do when your mother asks you where you have been and you don't want to tell her.

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To turn aside from, or evade, the truth; equivocate.
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To behave in an evasive or indecisive manner, usually in delay.
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To speak or write evasively; equivocate.
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To utter or say in an evasive manner.
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To tell an untruth; lie.
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(intransitive) To shift or turn from direct speech or behaviour; to evade the truth; to waffle or be (intentionally) ambiguous.

The people saw the politician prevaricate every day.

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(intransitive, law) To collude, as where an informer colludes with the defendant, and makes a sham prosecution.
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(law, UK) To undertake something falsely and deceitfully, with the purpose of defeating or destroying it.
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Origin of prevaricate

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

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From the participle stem of Latin praevāricārÄ«, from prae- with vāricāre, from vārus, from Proto-Indo-European *wā- (“to bend apart") (the root of "˜various').

    From Wiktionary