tergiversate

[ tur-ji-ver-seyt ]
/ ˈtɜr dʒɪ vərˌseɪt /

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.

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
Related formster·gi·ver·sa·tion, nounter·gi·ver·sa·tor, ter·gi·ver·sant [tur-ji-vur-suh nt] /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. 2019

Examples from the Web for tergiversation

British Dictionary definitions for tergiversation

tergiversate

/ (ˈtɜːdʒɪvəˌseɪt) /

verb (intr)

to change sides or loyalties; apostatize
to be evasive or ambiguous; equivocate
Derived Formstergiversation, 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