Prevarication meaning

A lie; deceitful or dishonest behavior; equivocation.
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(now rare) Deviation from what is right or correct; transgression, perversion.
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Evasion of the truth; deceit, evasiveness.

Prevarication became the order of the day in his government while truth was a stranger in those halls.

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A secret abuse in the exercise of a public office.
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(law, historical, Ancient Rome) The collusion of an informer with the defendant, for the purpose of making a sham prosecution.
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(law) A false or deceitful seeming to undertake a thing for the purpose of defeating or destroying it.

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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster's Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
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Origin of prevarication

  • From Anglo-Norman prevaricaciun, Middle French prevarication, and their source, Latin praevaricatio (“collusion with an opponent; transgression; deceit"), from the stem of praevaricari.
    From Wiktionary