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Lie vs Prevaricate vs Equivocate vs Palter vs Fib

Lieprevaricateequivocatepalterfib mean to tell an untruth directly or indirectly.

Lie is the straightforward word, flatly imputing dishonesty to the speaker.

Prevaricate is often used in place of lie as a more formal or less offensive term; distinctively, it can imply evasion of the truth (as by quibbling, dodging the real point, or confusing the issue).

Equivocate implies saying one thing and meaning another; it usually suggests the use of words that carry more than one sense in the hope that the sense which gives the incorrect impression may be the one accepted by the hearer.

Palter implies a playing fast and loose, not only in statements but in dealings; it often specifically implies prevarication, equivocation, or the making of promises one does not intend to keep.

Fib (see also LIE ) may be used as a euphemism for lie , but it more often implies the telling of an untruth that is trivial either in matter or in significance.