The words equivocate and prevaricate sound similar and have similar meanings, but there is a definite difference between the two.
Equivocate means to speak vaguely, to use ambiguous language so as to conceal the truth or avoid committing oneself:
Example: ‘the government have equivocated too often in the past’
Related words are equivocates, equivocated, equivocating, equivocatingly, equivocation, equivocator, equivocatory.
Equivocating is not out-and-out lying, but it is the process of misleading the listener with vagaries and omission.
Prevaricate means to speak in a misleading way or an evasive way’, to speak with intent to deceive, to avoid telling the truth, to lie:
Example: ‘he prevaricated at the mention of money.’
Related words are prevaricates, prevaricated, prevaricating, prevaricatingly, prevarication, prevaricator, prevaricatory.
Both equivocate and prevaricate may mean to speak evasively, but only prevaricate is used to describe lying.