c. 1600, with -al (1) + Late Latin aequivocus "of identical sound, of equal voice, of equal significance, ambiguous, of like sound," past participle of aequivocare, from aequus "equal" (see equal (adj.)) + vocare "to call" (from PIE root *wekw- "to speak"). Earlier in same sense was equivoque (late 14c.). Related: Equivocally (1570s).
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