Definition of tergiversate verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    tergiversate

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈtɜːdʒɪvəseɪt//
     
    , BrE//ˌtɜːdʒɪˈvɜːseɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//tərˈdʒɪvərseɪt//
     
    , NAmE//ˈtɜːrdʒɪvərseɪt//
     
    (formal)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they tergiversate
    BrE BrE//ˈtɜːdʒɪvəseɪt//
     
    , BrE//ˌtɜːdʒɪˈvɜːseɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//tərˈdʒɪvərseɪt//
     
    , NAmE//ˈtɜːrdʒɪvərseɪt//
     
    he / she / it tergiversates
    BrE BrE//ˈtɜːdʒɪvəseɪts//
     
    , BrE//ˌtɜːdʒɪˈvɜːseɪts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//tərˈdʒɪvərseɪts//
     
    , NAmE//ˈtɜːrdʒɪvərseɪts//
     
    past simple tergiversated
    BrE BrE//ˈtɜːdʒɪvəseɪtɪd//
     
    , BrE//ˌtɜːdʒɪˈvɜːseɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//tərˈdʒɪvərseɪtɪd//
     
    , NAmE//ˈtɜːrdʒɪvərseɪtɪd//
     
    past participle tergiversated
    BrE BrE//ˈtɜːdʒɪvəseɪtɪd//
     
    , BrE//ˌtɜːdʒɪˈvɜːseɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//tərˈdʒɪvərseɪtɪd//
     
    , NAmE//ˈtɜːrdʒɪvərseɪtɪd//
     
    -ing form tergiversating
    BrE BrE//ˈtɜːdʒɪvəseɪtɪŋ//
     
    , BrE//ˌtɜːdʒɪˈvɜːseɪtɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//tərˈdʒɪvərseɪtɪŋ//
     
    , NAmE//ˈtɜːrdʒɪvərseɪtɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1[intransitive] to make statements that deliberately hide the truth or that avoid answering a question directly
  2. 2[intransitive] to stop being loyal to one person, group, or religion and begin to support another
  3. Word Origin mid 17th cent.: from Latin tergiversat- ‘with one's back turned’, from the verb tergiversari, from tergum ‘back’ + vertere ‘to turn’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: tergiversate