Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Prevaricate \prih-VAIR-uh-kayt\ , intransitive verb;
1. To depart from or evade the truth; to speak with equivocation

This word, with the definition "to transgress", dates to the 1580's and comes from Latin praefaricari ("to make a sham accusation, deviate," literally "walk crookedly" or "plow crookedly"). In Church Latin praefaricari simply means "to transgress." The interpretation of "to speak evasively" dates to the 1630's. Prevaricator predates prevaricate by 40 years and comes from the agent noun from praevaricari, which is praevaricator. There is an additional definition for this word that is an adjective: "that deviates or prevaricates; perverse." This is a rare/obsolete version of this word which also derives from a form of praevaricari.

Today's word and the first definition were both taken from's 'Word of the Day' for Wednesday, January 5
Etymologies come from the Oxford English Dictionary and/or

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