An example of to tergiversate is for a politician to change political parties and denounce a bill that they once helped to pass.
- to desert a cause, party, etc.; become a renegade; apostatize
- to use evasions or subterfuge; equivocate
Origin of tergiversate; from Classical Latin tergiversatus, past participle of tergiversari, to turn one's back, decline, shift ; from tergum, the back (see tergum) + versari, to turn ; from versus: see verse
intransitive verbter·giv·er·sat·ed, ter·giv·er·sat·ing, ter·giv·er·sates
- To use evasions or ambiguities; equivocate.
- To change sides; apostatize.
Origin of tergiversateLatin tergivers&amacron;r&imacron;, tergivers&amacron;t- : tergum, the back + vers&amacron;re, to turn; see wer-2 in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present tergiversates, present participle tergiversating, simple past and past participle tergiversated)