tergiversation

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin tergiversātiō.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

tergiversation (countable and uncountable, plural tergiversations)

  1. The act of abandoning something or someone, of changing sides; desertion; betrayal.
    • 1985, John Fowles, A Maggot:
      They make their outward impudence their mask, as foxes, the better we may not see where they truly tend, nor their true black tergiversation beneath.
  2. The act of evading any clear course of action or speech, of being deliberately ambiguous; equivocation; fickleness.
    • 1931, Bertrand Russell, The Scientific Outlook:
      Anyone who desires an hour's amusement may be advised to look up the tergiversations of eminent craniologists in their attempts to prove from brain measurements that women are stupider than men.

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French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin tergiversātiō.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /tɛʁ.ʒi.vɛʁ.sa.sjɔ̃/

Noun[edit]

tergiversation f (plural tergiversations)

  1. Delays in providing a clear answer caused by hesitations or an outright unwillingness to be forthright.

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