One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Make conflicting or evasive statements; equivocate.‘the more she tergiversated, the greater grew the ardency of the reporters for an interview’
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 issueView synonyms
- ‘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.’
2Change one's loyalties; be apostate.desert, go over to the enemy, change allegiances, change loyalties, change sides, turn traitor, rebel, renege, abscond, go awol, quit, escapeView synonyms
Mid 17th century: from Latin tergiversat- ‘with one's back turned’, from the verb tergiversari, from tergum ‘back’ + vertere ‘to turn’.
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