equivocate

When you are unwilling to make a decision and almost intentionally go back and forth between two choices, you are equivocating. When politicians equivocate, they are often afraid of upsetting, and thus alienating, voters with their decisions.

A key part of equivocate is the root vocate which come from the Latin vocare or "voice." When you give your voice to two opposing views in order to mislead or keep your options open, you're equivocating. Think of the expression, to talk out of both sides of your mouth. If you want to go to a party and your parents keep saying "maybe, it depends," tell them to stop equivocating and give you a straight answer.

Definitions of equivocate
1

v be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or withhold information

Synonyms:
beat around the bush, palter, prevaricate, tergiversate
Type of:
misinform, mislead
give false or misleading information to

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a life-long learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.