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.


  1. capable of varying interpretations; ambiguous
  2. deliberately misleading or vague; evasive
  3. of doubtful character or sincerity; dubious

c.1600, from Late Latin aequivocus “of equal voice, of equal significance, ambiguous” (see equivocation) + -al (1). Earlier in same sense was equivoque (late 14c.). Related: Equivocally (1570s).

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