- to be indecisive or evasive to gain time or delay acting.
- to comply with the time or occasion; yield temporarily or ostensibly to prevailing opinion or circumstances.
- to treat or parley so as to gain time (usually followed by with).
- to come to terms (usually followed by with).
- to effect a compromise (usually followed by between).
Origin of temporize
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for temporize
She was anxious to temporize, for she did not see how to answer her appeal.Weighed and Wanting
They might temporize with their own consciences, but not with public opinion.Mary Wollstonecraft
Elizabeth Robins Pennell
It is hard to temporize when confronted with a businesslike silence.
She tried to temporize, but the more she eluded him the more insistent he became.The Strange Case of Mortimer Fenley
Thus Blake tried to temporize, so that he might think what was best to do.The Moving Picture Boys on the Coast
- to delay, act evasively, or protract a discussion, negotiation, etc, esp in order to gain time or effect a compromise
- to adapt oneself to the circumstances or occasion, as by temporary or apparent agreement
Word Origin and History for temporize
1550s (implied in temporizer), from Middle French temporiser "to pass one's time, wait one's time" (14c.), from Medieval Latin temporizare "pass time," perhaps via Vulgar Latin *temporare "to delay," from Latin tempus (genitive temporis) "time" (see temporal). Related: Temporized; temporizing.