- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Related Words for tergiversatorrenegade, deserter, sellout, turncoat, rat, recreant, apostate, absconder, runaway, runagate, reneger
- 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
Word Origin and History for tergiversator
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