equivocal


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equivocal

adjective ambiguous, ambiguus, amphibological, amphibolous, anceps, bewildering, cloudy, confusing, controversial, debatable, deceptive, dim, disputable, doubtful, dubious, dubius, enigmatic, enigmatical, equivocating, equivocatory, hard to underrtand, hazy, imperspicuous, imprecise, indecisive, indeterminate, misleading, moot, nebulous, obscure, of doubtful meaning, of uncertain significance, open, open to question, perplexing, possessing double meaning, puzzling, questionable, recondite, shadowy, unclear, undecided, undefined, unexplained, unintelligible, unplain, unresolved, unsolved, unsure, vague, veiled
Foreign phrases: Verba aequivoca, ac in dubio sensu posita, intelliguntur digniori et potentiori sensu.Equivocal words and those which are used in a doubtful sense are to be understood in their more worthy and effeccive sense.
See also: aleatory, ambiguous, conditional, disputable, doubtful, dubious, elusive, evasive, hesitant, impalpable, indefinite, indeterminate, oblique, precarious, problematic, provisional, questionable, suspicious, uncertain, unclear, vague

EQUIVOCAL. What has a double sense.
     2. In the construction of contracts, it is a general rule that when an expression may be taken in two senses, that shall be preferred which gives it effect. Vide Ambiguity; Construction; Interpretation; and Dig. 22, 1, 4; Id 45, 1, 80; Id. 50, 17, 67.

References in classic literature ?
I learned, moreover, at intervals, and through broken and equivocal hints, another singular feature of his mental condition.
On his side the inclination was stronger, on hers less equivocal.
Athos fancied he could detect an air of equivocal bonhomie upon the countenance of the sergeant; but the adventure of the vault might have excited the curiosity of the man, and it was not surprising that he allowed some of the feelings which agitated his mind to appear in his face.
Stuart by no means relished such equivocal joking, but it was not his policy to get into a quarrel; so he joined with the best grace he could assume in the merriment of the jocular giant; and, to console the latter for the refusal of the horse, made him a present of twenty charges of powder.
Of course I did neither and there fell on us an odd, equivocal silence.
She became EXCESSIVELY intimate with most of the ladies; and, to my profound astonishment, evinced no equivocal disposition to coquet with the men.
Dammit indulged himself in some very equivocal behavior.
This unspoken converging of minds, equivocal though it was on Martin's part, resulted gradually in a more friendly period.
Laura Lyons, of equivocal reputation, a long step will have been made towards clearing one incident in this chain of mysteries.
There is something equivocal in all the words in use to express the excellence of manners and social cultivation, because the quantities are fluxional, and the last effect is assumed by the senses as the cause.
This cell, with the exception, possibly, of some glass phials, relegated to a corner, and filled with a decidedly equivocal powder, which strongly resembled the alchemist's "powder of projection," presented nothing strange or mysterious.
And when Bragelonne, ardent, angry, and melancholy, spoke with contempt of royal words, of the equivocal faith which certain madmen draw from promises that emanate from thrones, when, passing over two centuries, with that rapidity of a bird that traverses a narrow strait to go from one continent to the other, Raoul ventured to predict the time in which kings would be esteemed as less than other men, Athos said to him, in his serene, persuasive voice, "You are right, Raoul; all that you say will happen; kings will lose their privileges, as stars which have survived their aeons lose their splendor.