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Prevarication   /prəvˌɛrəkˈeɪʃən/   Listen
Prevarication

noun
1.
A statement that deviates from or perverts the truth.  Synonym: lie.
2.
Intentionally vague or ambiguous.  Synonyms: equivocation, evasiveness.
3.
The deliberate act of deviating from the truth.  Synonyms: fabrication, lying.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Prevarication" Quotes from Famous Books



... that cleaved its way to Tunis Latham's very soul. His tale did not remove from her heart all its burden. She was still penitent for the falsehood she had told in direct words to Cap'n Ira and Prudence about her first meeting with Tunis. But that prevarication, at least, had been for ...
— Sheila of Big Wreck Cove - A Story of Cape Cod • James A. Cooper

... or unconscious, seems ubiquitous throughout the range of physical phenomena of spiritism, and false pretence, prevarication and fishing for clues are ubiquitous in the mental manifestations of mediums. If it be not everywhere fraud simulating reality, one is tempted to say, then the reality (if any reality there be) has the bad luck of being fated everywhere to simulate fraud. The suggestion of humbug seldom stops, ...
— Memories and Studies • William James

... bullies and blackguards, or who would speedily have become so if left to their own devices, and there were cowards, and boys who carelessly told an untruth, or were addicted to the too common vice of prevarication. There were also vicious boys, or who would have been vicious had they not been watched and restrained. These were exceptions to the general rule. The Doctor's system, embracing the law of kindness, answered well, and ...
— Ernest Bracebridge - School Days • William H. G. Kingston

... when they were shut in alone, "I'll have a straightforward statement, without any prevarication, or I give you over at once into custody. If you can't clear yourself, and I don't see how you possibly can, there's the jail before you, the only ...
— Frank Oldfield - Lost and Found • T.P. Wilson

... seen such times—England and America have glanced that way. Women, like men, often do not know that the big prizes gravitate where they belong; instead, they set traps for them, lie in wait and consider prevarication and duplicity better than truth. When women use their beauty, their wit and their pink persons in politics, trouble lies low around the corner. But this sister of Seneca was never seen in public unless it was at her husband's side; she ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great Philosophers, Volume 8 • Elbert Hubbard

... Prevarication of every kind partakes of the very essence of lying, being not only subversive of social happiness, by preventing all confidential intercourse amongst mankind, but diametrically opposed to the commands of God. Every species of wilful deceit, as the use of ambiguities ...
— Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I • Francis Augustus Cox

... exhorted them to beware, how they were persuaded to bury, under the opprobrious name of fanaticism, the regard which they owed to the great duties of mercy and justice, for the neglect of which (if they should neglect them) they would be answerable at that tribunal, where no prevarication of witnesses could misinform the judge; and where no subtlety of an advocate, miscalling the names of things, putting evil for good and good for evil, ...
— The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave Trade by the British Parliament (1808) • Thomas Clarkson

... hold firmly and assert, especially we bishops who preside in the Church, that we may prove the episcopate itself to be one and undivided. Let no one deceive the brotherhood by a falsehood; let no one corrupt the truth by a perfidious prevarication. The episcopate is one, each part of which is held by each one in its entirety. The Church, also, is one which is spread abroad far and wide into a multitude by an increase of fruitfulness. As there are many rays of the sun, but one light, and many branches ...
— A Source Book for Ancient Church History • Joseph Cullen Ayer, Jr., Ph.D.

... more effectually promoted by falsehood; although he did not disdain even truth whenever it equally served his purpose. In such a case it gave him a reputation for candor under which he could, with more safety, avail himself of his disingenuity and prevarication. He knew, as we said, that his mother's description of the family contained not one atom of truth; and yet he was too dastardly and cunning to defend them against her calumny. The great basis of his character, in fact, was a selfishness, which kept him perpetually indifferent to anything ...
— The Evil Eye; Or, The Black Spector - The Works of William Carleton, Volume One • William Carleton

... choose to own the truth, and produce the letter," she resumed, "I will give you this, as your reward for finding, and restoring to me, something that I had lost. If you persist in your present prevarication, I can, and will, make that sheet of note-paper you have stolen from me nothing but waste paper in your hands. You have threatened Mrs. Glenarm with my interference. Suppose I go to Mrs. Glenarm? Suppose I interfere before the week is out? Suppose ...
— Man and Wife • Wilkie Collins

... gasped Penelope. And then she added, shamed out of her prevarication by Irene's haughty magnanimity, "I ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... "This is prevarication, sir," cried the lieutenant; "but I am not to be put off like this. Come, sir, I received information about a very valuable contraband cargo that has been run from Dunquerque. It has been landed here successfully during ...
— Devon Boys - A Tale of the North Shore • George Manville Fenn

... him precedence, and stepped into another apartment to hear his story. He accused Holbein of the violence, but suppressed the provocation; whereat Henry broke into a towering Tudor rage, and, after reproaching the nobleman for his prevarication, said, "You have to do with me, Sir. I tell you, that of seven peasants I could make seven earls like you; but of seven earls I could not make one Holbein. Do not molest him, if you value your head." And as second-hand heads, though plentiful about those days, were found to be of no value, even ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 17, March, 1859 • Various

... violent effort recovered his equanimity, and said,—'Prevarication or denial I suppose to be useless. You have probably outbid me for the confidence of this miserable villain. What ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I. February, 1862, No. II. - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... is indeed fortunate, for he comes to us several times each summer and is one of the family, Lady Morley accompanying him. He is as fond of the yacht as I am myself, and, fortunately again, it is the best medicine for both of us. Morley is, and must always remain, "Honest John." No prevarication with him, no nonsense, firm as a rock upon all questions and in all emergencies; yet always looking around, fore and aft, right and left, with a big heart not often revealed in all its tenderness, but at rare ...
— Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie • Andrew Carnegie

... and the young borderer in private conversation, enabled him to effect his design with sufficient clearness. Faith heard him without betraying any of her ordinary waywardness, and answered with as little prevarication as ...
— The Wept of Wish-Ton-Wish • James Fenimore Cooper

... choice which is made upon any other than reciprocated affection, is an unreasonable and irreligious one. "Parents have no right," says Paley, "to urge their children upon marriage to which they are averse;" "add to this," says he, "that compulsion in marriage necessarily leads to prevarication; as the reluctant party promises an affection, which neither exists, nor is expected to take place." To proceed to marriage, therefore in the face of absolute dislike and revulsion, is irrational ...
— The Christian Home • Samuel Philips

... It was out. The prevarication had been uttered, and Grace felt as if she had committed a crime and punishment was at hand. Tears of distress came to her eyes; the situation was ...
— Nedra • George Barr McCutcheon

... dismissed, and his majesty remained alone with the prisoner. Fixing his eyes sternly upon the countenance of M. Pernon, Louis said, "If you reveal every circumstance relative to the death of Madame, I promise you full pardon. If you are guilty of the slightest concealment or prevarication, your life ...
— Louis XIV., Makers of History Series • John S. C. Abbott

... "If the Queen should come to Chicago she would live here," and I comforted myself by saying, "You shall have your hour of wonder and romance, even at the expense of a prevarication." ...
— A Daughter of the Middle Border • Hamlin Garland

... father's death, having wasted his whole fortune in riot and feasting, has nothing left but this slave, whom he at last resolved to part with; and she was to be sold in his name, I sent for him; and, without mentioning any thing of his father's prevarication, or rather treachery to your majesty, I in the civilest manner said to him, 'Noor ad Deen, the merchants, I perceive, have put your slave up at four thousand pieces of gold; and I question not, but, in emulation of each other, they will raise the price ...
— The Arabian Nights Entertainments Complete • Anonymous

... down the steps again, and knocked at the door of Mrs. Halliss's kitchen, with the tell-tale bracelet in his hand. Mrs. Halliss opened the dcor to him respectfully, and after a faint attempt at innocent prevarication, felt bound to let out all the pitiful little secret without further preamble. So Arthur, good, kind-hearted, delicate-souled Arthur, took his seat sadly upon one of the hard wooden kitchen chairs, and waited patiently ...
— Philistia • Grant Allen

... and clothing tainted with offensive odors. He poisons the atmosphere that others must inhale, and disputes their rights to breathe a pure, untainted air. The free use of tobacco by young people dulls the acuteness of the moral senses, often leads to prevarication and deceit in the indulgence, and is apt to draw one downward to bad associates. It is not the speed but the direction that tells on the future character and destiny of ...
— A Practical Physiology • Albert F. Blaisdell

... was a perfectly honest man, and hated shiftiness even worse than downright lying. The only time he gave me a thrashing was for prevarication. He had a plain, but not a dull mind, and loved poetry of a sublime cast, especially Milton. I can hear him even now repeat passages from the Comus, which was a special favourite. Elsewhere I have told how when he was young and stood at the composing desk in ...
— The Early Life of Mark Rutherford • Mark Rutherford

... to the civil rulers in temporal matters. At Drogheda the new Oath of Allegiance framed by James I. was condemned as being opposed to faith and religion; Catholics were commanded not to have recourse to prevarication or wavering in regard to it, but to reject it openly, and were warned against attendance at divine worship in Protestant churches even though they had previously made a declaration that they meant ...
— History of the Catholic Church from the Renaissance • Rev. James MacCaffrey

... through whom he had recovered his episcopal city? Wherefore did he not assert his right and do his duty as metropolitan and censure and suspend his suffragan, the Bishop of Beauvais, who was guilty of prevarication in the administration of justice? Why did not the illustrious clerics, whom King Charles had appointed deputies at the Council of Bale, undertake to bring the cause of the Maid before the Council? And finally, why did not the priests, the ecclesiastics of the realm, ...
— The Life of Joan of Arc, Vol. 1 and 2 (of 2) • Anatole France

... with this fear, he told her to say that she was his sister—which was not a direct falsehood, but only so by implication. According to the Jewish mode of reckoning relationship, she might be called a sister; and Abram stooped to this prevarication under that terrible dread which, in the case of Peter, drove a true disciple of Christ to the brink of apostacy ...
— Half Hours in Bible Lands, Volume 2 - Patriarchs, Kings, and Kingdoms • Rev. P. C. Headley

... in a tavern full of very rough customers, he wishes himself in the moon, and to the moon appropriately he goes. Mediaevalism can hardly be called anything but a rather enfeebling dream. If it were a real effort to live in the Middle Ages, your life would be one perpetual prevarication. You would be drawn by the steam engine to lecture against steam; you would send eloquent invectives against printing to the press, and you would be subsisting meanwhile on the interest of investments which the Middle ...
— Lectures and Essays • Goldwin Smith

... all proudly. "I eloped with no man. That was simply a little prevarication to worry you, my uncle, after the manner in which you have worried me. I was on my way to Dresden, it is true, but only to hide with my old governess. This gentleman jumped into my compartment as the train drew ...
— The Princess Elopes • Harold MacGrath

... the less dexterous—has betrayed himself and is expelled. When will Bernstorff's turn come? That it will come, indeed must come, is self-evident. The artist sees things too clearly as they are not to see also what they will be. He therefore skips the ignoble interlude of prevarication, quibble, and intrigue, and gives us Uncle Sam happy at last in his recovered simplicity. So we see him here, enjoying himself, as only a white man can, in a wholehearted spurning ...
— Raemaekers' Cartoons - With Accompanying Notes by Well-known English Writers • Louis Raemaekers

... he was waiting to be answered, I had to collect my thoughts and admit, not without a little bashfulness, that my first account of my exploit had contained a slight prevarication. ...
— The Light of Scarthey • Egerton Castle

... you could have seen him this morning," murmured Penelope, thoroughly enjoying the unexpected situation. Her conscience was not troubled by the prevarication. ...
— Master Tales of Mystery, Volume 3 • Collected and Arranged by Francis J. Reynolds

... rather not have gone down to The Haws that Christmastide, but feared that his failure to do so might seem strange. The needful prevarication cost him so many pangs that he came very near to confessing the truth; he probably would have done so, had not his mother been ailing, and, it seemed to him, little able to bear the shock of such a disclosure. So the honest deception went on. Will ...
— Will Warburton • George Gissing



Words linked to "Prevarication" :   falsehood, untruth, story, equivocalness, falsification, ambiguity, tarradiddle, falsity, misrepresentation, prevaricate, whopper, paltering, lying, white lie, tale, taradiddle, fib, jactitation, untruthfulness, fibbing, equivocation, fabrication, walloper



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