Meaning of tergiversate in English:



[no object]
  • 1Make conflicting or evasive statements; equivocate.

    ‘the more she tergiversated, the greater grew the ardency of the reporters for an interview’
    • ‘The thought of tergiversating crossed his mind several times but like a true soldier he continued with the War, against the enemy and against himself.’
    prevaricate, be evasive, be non-committal, be vague, be ambiguous, dodge the issue, evade the issue, beat about the bush, hedge, hedge one's bets, fudge the issue
  • 2Change one's loyalties; abandon a belief or principle.

    desert, go over to the enemy, change allegiances, change loyalties, change sides, turn traitor, rebel, renege, abscond, go AWOL, quit, escape



/ˈtəːdʒɪvəˌseɪt/ /təːdʒɪˈvəːseɪt/


Mid 17th century from Latin tergiversat- ‘with one's back turned’, from the verb tergiversari, from tergum ‘back’ + vertere ‘to turn’.