- 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
- to change sides or loyalties; apostatize
- to be evasive or ambiguous; equivocate
C17: from Latin tergiversārī to turn one's back, from tergum back + vertere to turn
Word Origin and History for tergiversatory
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