When you prevaricate, you lie or mislead. Now, go ahead and tell me whether you already knew that meaning, and don’t prevaricate about it — give me the story straight!

  • Pronunciation: /prɪ'værə'ket/
  • English Description: give false or misleading information to
  • Chinese Translation: 搪塞(tang2 sai1)
  • Spanish Translation: dar rodeos
  • STORY: While prevaricate basically means to lie, it also has the sense of making it hard to know exactly what the lie was. You talk in a confusing way, go back and forth, and as deliberately as possible mislead someone. Government officials, bureaucrats, and sneaky types prevaricate in the hopes that it will be too difficult to figure out whether they've been doing something wrong. Don't prevaricate with your parents — it will definitely make you look guilty, but they just won't be sure of what!


  • An immovable deadline meant politicians could not prevaricate or delay, and gave some certainty to developers.
  • Yet there is always the chance that ministers will prevaricate, postponing a definite decision yet again.

*New word description, story and part of "EXAMPLE SENTENCE" are cited in