AskDefine | Define tergiversate

Dictionary Definition

tergiversate

Verb

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

English

Etymology

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

Pronunciation

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

Verb

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

Synonyms

Derived terms

Translations

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
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