• synonyms


verb (used without object), tem·po·rized, tem·po·riz·ing.
  1. to be indecisive or evasive to gain time or delay acting.
  2. to comply with the time or occasion; yield temporarily or ostensibly to prevailing opinion or circumstances.
  3. to treat or parley so as to gain time (usually followed by with).
  4. to come to terms (usually followed by with).
  5. to effect a compromise (usually followed by between).
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Also especially British, tem·po·rise.

Origin of temporize

1570–80; < Medieval Latin temporizāre to hang back, delay, equivalent to Latin tempor- (stem of tempus) time + Medieval Latin -izāre -ize
Related formstem·po·ri·za·tion, nountem·po·riz·er, nountem·po·riz·ing·ly, adverbnon·tem·po·riz·ing, adjectivenon·tem·po·riz·ing·ly, adverb
Can be confusedtemporalize temporize

Synonyms for temporize

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for temporise

Historical Examples of temporise

  • But they desired to temporise;—and then how was the enquiry to be made?

    Is He Popenjoy?

    Anthony Trollope

  • In vain, according to his wont, did he again attempt to temporise.

  • She began to temporise, hoping to conquer his resistance later.

  • However, it is better to temporise than to risk all and lose all.

  • Even then I had to temporise, for he turned impatiently away.


    George Manville Fenn

British Dictionary definitions for temporise



verb (intr)
  1. to delay, act evasively, or protract a discussion, negotiation, etc, esp in order to gain time or effect a compromise
  2. to adapt oneself to the circumstances or occasion, as by temporary or apparent agreement
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Derived Formstemporization or temporisation, nountemporizer or temporiser, noun

Word Origin for temporize

C16: from French temporiser, from Medieval Latin temporizāre, from Latin tempus time
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for temporise



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper