I've noticed that some people use words or phrases like can, could, seems like, it's likely, some people think, etc when they're talking and this makes it harder dispute what they're saying or arguing. In a way, they're much less likely to be wrong since they're not committing that much to what they're saying. I was wondering if there is word to describe this behavior.

For example, let's say you believe in some statement A. Instead of saying "A is true", you say "A is very likely to be true". This way, if someone says "A is not true because X, Y, Z" you can say "I didn't say it was true, I said it is very likely to be true. Therefore I wasn't wrong". This way you can get the same point across and not risk being wrong.


2 Answers 2


See equivocate at Oxford dictionary defined as

Use ambiguous language so as to conceal the truth or avoid committing oneself.

Also look up prevaricate.


I think Stop hedging! is a perfectly common usage when urging someone not to...

hedge - to avoid a rigid commitment by qualifying or modifying a position so as to permit withdrawal (dictionary.com, sense 9)

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