- to change repeatedly one's attitude or opinions with respect to a cause, subject, etc.; equivocate.
- to turn renegade.
Origin of tergiversate
Related Words for tergiversationlack, deficiency, dereliction, disaffection, apostasy, disloyalty, severance, divorce, desertion, rebellion, retreat, failure, separation, parting, rejection, failing, revolt, estrangement, alienation, withdrawal
Examples from the Web for tergiversation
Historical Examples of 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 for tergiversate
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.