AskDefine | Define tergiversate

Dictionary Definition



1 be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or withhold information [syn: beat around the bush, equivocate, prevaricate, palter]
2 abandon one's beliefs or allegiances [syn: apostatize, apostatise]

User Contributed Dictionary



Latin tergiversatus "to turn one's back, to shift"; tergum "back" + versare, frequentive of vertere "to turn."


  • (UK) /ˈtɜːdʒɪvəseɪt/
  • (US) , /tɝˈdʒɪvɝseɪt/, /t@`"dZIv@`seIt/


  1. To evade, to equivocate using subterfuge; to deliberately obfuscate.
  2. To change sides or affiliation; to apostatize.


Derived terms


Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

alternate, apostatize, around the bush, back and fill, beat about, beg the question, bicker, boggle, cavil, change, choplogic, come round, desert, dither, do a flip-flop, do an about-face, dodge, duck, equivocate, evade, evade the issue, fence, fluctuate, have second thoughts, hedge, hem and haw, hum and haw, mince the truth, mince words, mystify, nitpick, obscure, oscillate, palter, parry, pendulate, pick nits, prevaricate, pussyfoot, quibble, rat, renounce, repudiate, shift, shilly-shally, shuffle, shy, sidestep, split hairs, teeter, totter, turn, vacillate, vary, waffle, waver, weasel, wheel, wobble
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1