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1. To shift or turn from one side to the other, from the direct course, or from truth; to speak with equivocation; to shuffle; to quibble; as, he prevaricates in his statement. He prevaricates with his own understanding. (south)

2. To collude, as where an informer colludes with the defendant, and makes a sham prosecution.

3. To undertake a thing falsely and deceitfully, with the purpose of defeating or destroying it.

Synonym: To evade, equivocate, quibble, shuffle.

Prevaricate, evade, equivocate. One who evades a question ostensibly answers it, but really turns aside to some other point. He who equivocate uses words which have a double meaning, so that in one sense he can claim to have said the truth, though he does in fact deceive, and intends to do it. He who prevaricates talks all round the question, hoping to dodge it, and disclose nothing.

Origin: L. Praevaricatus, p. P. Of praevaricari to walk crookedly, to collude; prae = before _ varicare to straddle, fr. Varicus straddling, varus bent. See Varicose.