- to change repeatedly one's attitude or opinions with respect to a cause, subject, etc.; equivocate.
- to turn renegade.
Origin of tergiversate
Examples from the Web for tergiversation
What was Howe's explanation of his Lordship's tergiversation?The Tribune of Nova Scotia
W. L. (William Lawson) Grant
I must tell you, however, in confidence, I suspect Tabby of tergiversation.The Expedition of Humphry Clinker
But, as Philo says, there is little chance of tergiversation.
But their tergiversation had cost them a thousand dollars a-piece.The White Scalper
"I will have no tergiversation," replied Bonaparte with warmth.Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete
Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne
- to change sides or loyalties; apostatize
- to be evasive or ambiguous; equivocate
Word Origin and History for tergiversation
turning dishonestly from a straightforward action or statement; shifting, shuffling, equivocation, 1560s, from Latin tergiversationem (nominative tergiversatio) "a shifting, evasion," from past participle stem of tergiversari "turn one's back on, evade," from tergum "the back" (of unknown origin) + versare "to spin, turn" (see versus).
1650s, from Latin tergiversatus, past participle of tergiversari "be evasive," literally "to turn one's back" (see tergiversation). Related: Tergiversated; tergiversating.