equivocal

Equivocal means uncertain or ambiguous. If you ask your teacher what's on an upcoming test and she gives you an equivocal answer, you won't be able to narrow down your studying.

Equivocal is from the Latin aequus "equal, the same" + vocare "to call, to speak" and describes when something is too close to call. An editorial in your local newspaper might make a strong case for new taxes on soda, while another editorial is more equivocal. The fact that equivocal means "uncertain" and unequivocal means "certain" is tricky, and a lot of people get stumped.

Definitions of equivocal
1

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

“an equivocal statement”
“the officer's equivocal behavior increased the victim's uneasiness”
“popularity is an equivocal crown”
“an equivocal response to an embarrassing question”
Synonyms:
ambiguous
ambiguous
having more than one possible meaning
double, forked
having two meanings with intent to deceive
evasive
deliberately vague or ambiguous
indeterminate
of uncertain or ambiguous nature
Antonyms:
unambiguous, unequivocal, univocal
admitting of no doubt or misunderstanding; having only one meaning or interpretation and leading to only one conclusion
unambiguous
having or exhibiting a single clearly defined meaning
absolute
expressing finality with no implication of possible change
straightforward
free from ambiguity
unquestionable
not open to question
show more antonyms...

adj uncertain as a sign or indication

“the evidence from bacteriologic analysis was equivocal
Synonyms:
inconclusive
not conclusive; not putting an end to doubt or question

adj open to question

“aliens of equivocal loyalty”
“"his conscience reproached him with the equivocal character of the union into which he had forced his son"-Anna Jameson”
Synonyms:
questionable
subject to question

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