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Prevaricate   /prəvˈɛrəkeɪt/   Listen

(past & past part. prevaricated; pres. part. prevaricating)
Be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or withhold information.  Synonyms: beat around the bush, equivocate, palter, tergiversate.

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Prevaricate" Quotes from Famous Books

... fetched a compass." When Nephi and his family landed in Central America" there were beasts in the forest of every kind, both the cow, and the ox, and the ass, and the horse" (ix Nephi xviii. 25). If Nephi does not prevaricate, there must have been a fatal plague among these animals in later years, for horses, cows, and asses were unknown in America until after its discovery by Europeans. Moroni, in the Book of Ether (ix. 18, 19), is still more generous, adding to the possessions of ...
— The Story of the Mormons: • William Alexander Linn

... you give me the lie?—direct or indirect, I will not bear it; I, a son of the house of Dymock, to be thus bearded in my own Tower, to be told that what I choose to assert may not be true; that I am, in fact, a deceiver,—a sharper,—one that would prevaricate for sordid pelf!" What more the worthy man added, our history does not say, but that he added much cannot be disputed, and that he poured forth in high and honourable indignation, many sentiments which would have done credit both to the gentleman ...
— Shanty the Blacksmith; A Tale of Other Times • Mrs. Sherwood [AKA: Mrs. Mary Martha Sherwood]

... responsive, sympathetic, understanding, and above all—silent. He did not leak. Also, his applause was wise without being noisy. Another rare quality he possessed was that he was honest as the sun. To prevaricate, even by gesture, or by saying nothing, which is the commonest form of untruth, was impossible to his transparent nature. He might hedge, but he could never lie. And he was 'friend,' so far as this was possible between employer ...
— A Prisoner in Fairyland • Algernon Blackwood

... sanctity on the same foundation as the Catholics; yet I do not perceive that a regular attendance on public worship, and their other observances, make them a whit more true in their affections, or honest in their private transactions. It seems, indeed, quite as easy to prevaricate with religious injunctions as human laws, when the exercise of their reason does not lead people to acquire principles for themselves to be the criterion of all those ...
— Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark • Mary Wollstonecraft

... be earnestly hoped that the gentleman does not prevaricate,' said the minister, for the first time attracted by the subject. 'I accidentally met him in the lane, and he said something to me about having lived in Malta. I think it was Malta, or Gibraltar—even if he did not say that ...
— A Laodicean • Thomas Hardy

... was the cigar-case? On the whole it would be just as well to lock the case away till he could discover some reasonable excuse for its possession. His mother would be pretty sure to ask where it came from, and David could not prevaricate so far as she was concerned. But the cigar-case was not to be found, and David was forced to the conclusion that he had left it in ...
— The Crimson Blind • Fred M. White

... badly. His knowledge of what God expects of him will not prevent him from doing just the contrary; sin is as easy to a believer as to an unbeliever. And he who pretends to have found religion, holiness, the Holy Ghost, or whatever else he may call it, and can therefore no longer prevaricate against the law, is, to common-sense people, nothing but a sanctified humbug or ...
— Explanation of Catholic Morals - A Concise, Reasoned, and Popular Exposition of Catholic Morals • John H. Stapleton

... kind," retorted the witch. "Why prevaricate? A maid with your colour hath small need even of my triple extract of toads' livers. What you have really come for is either a love-potion—" she paused and glanced keenly at her visitor—"or the means ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, March 10th, 1920 • Various

... public man not to bend the knee to popular prejudice. It takes courage to refuse to follow custom when it is injurious to his health and morals. How much easier for a politician to prevaricate and dodge an issue than to stand squarely on his feet like ...
— Pushing to the Front • Orison Swett Marden

... intelligence, of still more suspicious nature, is got out of the domestics, whose stern questioners give them no chance to prevaricate. Indeed, ...
— The Death Shot - A Story Retold • Mayne Reid

... I was not satisfied with the truth of this last statement, for there was a strange look in her eyes which suggested that she still desired it very much; also she seemed to me to prevaricate upon certain points. Further, those in charge of her allowed that this diagnosis was probably correct, especially as she is now in the Home for the second time, although her first visit there was a very short one. Still they thought that ...
— Regeneration • H. Rider Haggard

... 'Don't prevaricate with me.' Bruce had now definitely lost his temper. 'I can stand anything except prevarication. Anything in the world, but prevarication, I can endure, with patience. But not that! As if you didn't know perfectly well there's only one letter I ...
— Tenterhooks • Ada Leverson

... was well known for his common-sense way of teaching the truths of the Bible. He would speak just as he thought and as he felt, although he might offend Miss Precision and Mr. Itchingear. He gained the name of being an eccentric preacher, as most preachers do who never prevaricate and always speak as they think. The failing of Sister Hopkins had reached the ears of Superintendent Robson. He had no patience with such a failing, and he was resolved to cure her. On his first visit to the village to preach, he stopped, according to custom, ...
— Talkers - With Illustrations • John Bate

... allowed to prevaricate, all that remained for me to do was to return no reply. But there was stubbornness in my silence; I should have liked to say pettishly: "But you won't let me explain, you won't ...
— Tell England - A Study in a Generation • Ernest Raymond

... not open it, Kate. No! Put that letter down! You have never known me to prevaricate in the faintest degree, and you have no excuse for doubting. I will furnish a copy of that for Mr. Van Antwerp at any time; but you cannot ...
— The Deserter • Charles King

... liked with that man, who was terrible at the moment of his first outburst. So, wishing to know what happened at the seizing of Lygia, he asked further, in the voice of a stern judge,—"How did ye treat Croton? Speak, and do not prevaricate." ...
— Quo Vadis - A Narrative of the Time of Nero • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... col'-breasted an' severe. An' ef I had to take one or the other, why, I'd let my wife prevaricate a little, ef need be, befo' I'd relinquish warmheartedness, an' the power to command peacefulness an' rest, an' make things comfortable an' homely, day in an' ...
— Sonny, A Christmas Guest • Ruth McEnery Stuart

... altercate, dispute, quibble, scruple, haggle, higgle, chaffer; trim, prevaricate, shift, palter, play ...
— Putnam's Word Book • Louis A. Flemming

Words linked to "Prevaricate" :   beat around the bush, prevarication, mislead, equivocate, misinform, palter, prevaricator

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