Hyper Dictionary

English Dictionary Computer Dictionary Video Dictionary Thesaurus Dream Dictionary Medical Dictionary

Search Dictionary:  

Meaning of EQUIVOCAL

Pronunciation:  i'kwivukul

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [adj]  uncertain as a sign or indication; "the evidence from bacteriologic analysis was equivocal"
  2. [adj]  open to two or more interpretations; or of uncertain nature or significance; or (often) intended to mislead; "an equivocal statement"; "the polling had a complex and equivocal (or ambiguous) message for potential female candidates"; "the officer's equivocal behavior increased the victim's uneasiness"; "popularity is an equivocal crown"; "an equivocal response to an embarrassing question"
  3. [adj]  open to question; "aliens of equivocal loyalty"; "his conscience reproached him with the equivocal character of the union into which he had forced his son"-Anna Jameson

EQUIVOCAL is a 9 letter word that starts with E.


 Synonyms: ambiguous, ambivalent, double, evasive, forked, inconclusive, indeterminate, questionable
 Antonyms: unambiguous, unequivocal, univocal



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \E*quiv"o*cal\, a. [L. aequivocus: aequus equal + vox,
    vocis, word. See {Equal}, and {Voice}, and cf. {Equivoque}.]
    1. (Literally, called equally one thing or the other; hence:)
       Having two significations equally applicable; capable of
       double interpretation; of doubtful meaning; ambiguous;
       uncertain; as, equivocal words; an equivocal sentence.
             For the beauties of Shakespeare are not of so dim or
             equivocal a nature as to be visible only to learned
             eyes.                                 --Jeffrey.
    2. Capable of being ascribed to different motives, or of
       signifying opposite feelings, purposes, or characters;
       deserving to be suspected; as, his actions are equivocal.
       ``Equivocal repentances.'' --Milton.
    3. Uncertain, as an indication or sign; doubtful. ``How
       equivocal a test.'' --Burke.
    {Equivocal chord} (Mus.), a chord which can be resolved into
       several distinct keys; one whose intervals, being all
       minor thirds, do not clearly indicate its fundamental tone
       or root; the chord of the diminished triad, and the
       diminished seventh.
    Syn: Ambiguous; doubtful; uncertain; indeterminate.
    Usage: {Equivocal}, {Ambiguous}. We call an expression
           ambiguous when it has one general meaning, and yet
           contains certain words which may be taken in two
           different senses; or certain clauses which can be so
           connected with other clauses as to divide the mind
           between different views of part of the meaning
           intended. We call an expression equivocal when, taken
           as a whole, it conveys a given thought with perfect
           clearness and propriety, and also another thought with
           equal propriety and clearness. Such were the responses
           often given by the Delphic oracle; as that to Cr?sus
           when consulting about a war with Persia: ``If you
           cross the Halys, you will destroy a great empire.''
           This he applied to the Persian empire, which lay
           beyond that river, and, having crossed, destroyed his
           own, empire in the conflict. What is ambiguous is a
           mere blunder of language; what is equivocal is usually
           intended to deceive, though it may occur at times from
           mere inadvertence. Equivocation is applied only to
           cases where there is a design to deceive.
  2. \E*quiv"o*cal\, n.
    A word or expression capable of different meanings; an
    ambiguous term; an equivoque.
          In languages of great ductility, equivocals like that
          just referred to are rarely found.       --Fitzed.
Thesaurus Terms
 Related Terms: agnostic, amalgamated, ambagious, ambiguous, ambivalent, amphibious, amphibolic, amphibological, amphibolous, antinomic, blended, borderline, capricious, chancy, changeable, circumlocutory, clear as mud, clouded, combined, complex, composite, compound, compounded, conglomerate, dappled, dicey, dishonest, disreputable, doubtful, doubting, dubious, duplicitous, eclectic, enigmatic, enigmatical, equivocatory, erratic, evasive, fickle, fifty-fifty, fishy, forsworn, half-and-half, hazy, hedging, hesitant, hesitating, heterogeneous, incalculable, indecisive, indefinite, indemonstrable, indeterminate, indiscriminate, indistinct, intricate, ironic, irresolute, jumbled, lying, many-sided, medley, mendacious, mingled, miscellaneous, misleading, mixed, motley, multifaceted, multinational, multiracial, multivocal, mysterious, oblique, obscure, open, open to question, oxymoronic, paradoxical, patchy, perjured, perplexing, pluralistic, polysemantic, polysemous, prevaricating, problematic, promiscuous, puzzling, questionable, roundabout, scrambled, self-contradictory, skeptical, suspect, suspicious, syncretic, tenebrous, tergiversant, tergiversating, thrown together, touch-and-go, truthless, unaccountable, uncertain, unclear, unconfirmable, unconvinced, undecided, undivinable, unforeseeable, unintelligible, unpersuaded, unpredictable, unprovable, unsure, untruthful, unveracious, unverifiable, vague, variable, varied, waffling, wavering, weasel-worded, whimsical, wishy-washy