verb (used without object), ter·gi·ver·sat·ed, ter·gi·ver·sat·ing.
to change repeatedly one's attitude or opinions with respect to a cause, subject, etc.; equivocate.
to turn renegade.
Why Tergiversate Is Our 2011 Word Of The Year
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Origin of tergiversate
1645–55; < Latin tergiversātus (past participle of tergiversārī to turn one's back), equivalent to tergi- (combining form of tergum back) + versātus, past participle of versāre, frequentative of vertere to turn; see -ate1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
to change sides or loyalties; apostatize
to be evasive or ambiguous; equivocate
Word Origin for tergiversate
C17: from Latin tergiversārī to turn one's back, from tergum back + vertere to turn
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
1650s, from Latin tergiversatus, past participle of tergiversari "be evasive," literally "to turn one's back" (see tergiversation). Related: Tergiversated; tergiversating.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper