Adjective "equivocal" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Open to more than one interpretation; ambiguous.
  1. 'Although the ministers managed to adopt an agenda-setting declaration as a result of marathon negotiations, the road map is equivocal enough to allow each member to arbitrarily interpret it.'
  2. 'The equivocal mood produces a vague (but not dangerous) unease.'
  3. 'Is it any wonder that his ambiguous hybrid art dissolves boundaries in such an equivocal manner?'
  4. 'Finally, there is evidence that propaliny evolved twice within Anomodontia, but much of it depends on how equivocal or poorly preserved features of Otsheria and Ulemica are interpreted.'
  5. 'Some ambiguous changes were possible because of unresolved phylogeny or equivocal reconstruction.'
  6. 'His reply was oblique, equivocal, and we hurried on to other matters.'
  7. 'No doubt its subversive yet equivocal message will keep gay fans debating long past Labor Day.'
  8. 'This deformation renders interpretations of the original nature of such contacts equivocal.'
  9. 'If Auchter seems equivocal, the GED Testing Service website borders on the deceptive.'
  10. 'Except in the postcontact period, the Neanderthals had exhibited only equivocal signs of symbolic behaviors.'
  11. 'he has always been equivocal about the meaning of his lyrics'
  12. 'The editorials too often were equivocal; the Saturday edition gravitated towards froth and bubble where lifestyle matters ruled and the Business Section was in radical need of surgery.'
  13. 'However analysts we questioned are equivocal over the effect upon licensing costs.'
  14. 'I'm a bit more equivocal about pushing sole parents into the workforce, and certainly don't think they should be pressured until all their children have reached school age.'
  15. 'Carr's attitude is both more equivocal and less consistent.'
  16. 'It was as impossible to be ambivalent about Diana as it is to be equivocal about going to war.'
  17. 'Well that sounds like a rather equivocal statement which I for one, and I'm sure many others in the community, are not pleased to hear.'
  18. 'But other voices, less public, are more equivocal.'
  19. 'If he remains evasive and equivocal about this issue as he was the day before yesterday, people will believe he has lied and his voters will withhold their support for him.'
  20. 'Not only are they thoroughly dubious policy; they are all ideas with a superficial popular appeal, and ones about which the Labor opposition is at best equivocal and most probably unhappy.'
  21. 'the results of the investigation were equivocal'
  22. 'The heterogeneity of the political climate, and the equivocal success of traditional ideological labels in differentiating parties, allows for a more complete test of the two-value hypothesis.'
  23. 'Note that other interpretations included not only incorrect diagnoses but also interpretations indicative of equivocal results or technical problems.'
  24. 'In his closing submissions, Mr. Marler quite properly abandoned reliance on certain pleaded misrepresentations by Hillis considering the equivocal nature of the evidence.'
  25. 'The logic of the reasoning that implies that, taken in isolation, past conduct is equivocal assumes, contrary to experience, that parties are as likely to breach their obligations as to perform them.'
  26. 'Success was equivocal, until it was pointed out that the charm lacked a joint.'
  27. 'Despite the limitations of the era's technology, the exercise ended as an equivocal success.'
  28. 'This information is helpful when managing patients with diabetes and end-stage renal disease because they tend to have equivocal PVR studies and problematic wounds.'
  29. 'Therefore, results may remain equivocal or questionable regardless of the number of times the experiment is performed.'
  30. 'Monteith reads the novels included in her study as offering equivocal answers to this question of microcosmic social change.'
  31. 'Many experts claim that they do not occur in the Olympic Mountains, although there is some equivocal evidence to the contrary.'


1. allowing the possibility of several different meanings, as a word or phrase, especially with intent to deceive or misguide; susceptible of double interpretation; deliberately ambiguous: an equivocal answer.

2. of doubtful nature or character; questionable; dubious; suspicious: aliens of equivocal loyalty.

3. of uncertain significance; not determined: an equivocal attitude.

More examples(as adjective)

"surveys can be equivocal in findings."

"people can be equivocal on questions."

"parsons can be equivocal about regimes."

"papers can be equivocal about needs."

"councils can be equivocal on points."

More examples++


Mid 16th century: from late Latin aequivocus, from Latin aequus ‘equally’ + vocare ‘to call’.