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tergiversate

[ tur-ji-ver-seyt ]
/ ˈtɜr dʒɪ vərˌseɪt /
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See synonyms for: tergiversate / tergiversation / tergiversator on Thesaurus.com

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.

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Origin of tergiversate

First recorded in 1645–55; from 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 formed from versus, past participle of vertere “to turn”; see -ate1

OTHER WORDS FROM tergiversate

ter·gi·ver·sa·tion, nounter·gi·ver·sa·tor, ter·gi·ver·sant [tur-ji-vur-suhnt], /ˌtɜr dʒɪˈvɜr sənt/, nounter·gi·ver·sa·to·ry [tur-ji-vur-suh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee], /ˌtɜr dʒɪˈvɜr səˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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British Dictionary definitions for tergiversate

tergiversate
/ (ˈtɜːdʒɪvəˌseɪt) /

verb (intr)

to change sides or loyalties; apostatize
to be evasive or ambiguous; equivocate

Derived forms of tergiversate

tergiversation, nountergiversator or tergiversant (ˈtɜːdʒɪˌvɜːsənt), nountergiversatory, adjective

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
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