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From Middle French temporiser.


temporize (third-person singular simple present temporizes, present participle temporizing, simple past and past participle temporized)

  1. To deliberately act evasively or prolong a discussion in order to gain time or postpone a decision, sometimes in order to reach a compromise or simply to make a conversation more temperate; to stall for time.
  2. (obsolete) To comply with the time or occasion; to humor, or yield to, the current of opinion or circumstances; also, to trim, as between two parties.
    • Daniel
      They might their grievance inwardly complain, But outwardly they needs must temporize.
  3. (obsolete) To delay; to procrastinate.
    • Francis Bacon, Henry VII.
      The earl of Lincoln deceived of the country's concourse, in which case he would have temporized, resolved to give the king battle.
    • William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, Act I, Scene I.
      If Cupid hath not spent all his quiver in Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly. —I look for an earthquake too then. —Well, you will temporize with the hours.
  4. (obsolete) To comply; to agree.
    • William Shakespeare, King John, Act V, Scene II.
      The dauphin is too wilful opposite, And will not temporize with my entreaties: He flatly says, he'll not lay down his arms.

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