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 Dictionary entry overview: What does equivocal mean? 

EQUIVOCAL (adjective)
  The adjective EQUIVOCAL has 3 senses:

1. open to two or more interpretations; or of uncertain nature or significance; or (often) intended to mislead
2. open to question
3. uncertain as a sign or indication

  Familiarity information: EQUIVOCAL used as an adjective is uncommon.

 Dictionary entry details 

EQUIVOCAL (adjective)

Sense 1equivocal [BACK TO TOP]


Open to two or more interpretations; or of uncertain nature or significance; or (often) intended to mislead


ambiguous; equivocal

Context examples:

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


double; forked (having two meanings with intent to deceive)

evasive (deliberately vague or ambiguous)

indeterminate (of uncertain or ambiguous nature)


ambiguous (having more than one possible meaning)


unequivocal (admitting of no doubt or misunderstanding; having only one meaning or interpretation and leading to only one conclusion)

Sense 2equivocal [BACK TO TOP]


Open to question

Context examples:

aliens of equivocal loyalty / his conscience reproached him with the equivocal character of the union into which he had forced his son


questionable (subject to question)

Sense 3equivocal [BACK TO TOP]


Uncertain as a sign or indication

Context example:

the evidence from bacteriologic analysis was equivocal


inconclusive (not conclusive; not putting an end to doubt or question)

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 EQUIVOCAL: related words searches 

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