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Jul 21, 2022
This week’s theme
Words illustrated with AI

This week’s words
speechify
agrostology
smilet
tergiversation
meta

tergiversation
Illustration: Anu Garg × DALL·E AI

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

tergiversation

PRONUNCIATION:
(tuhr-ji-vuhr-SAY-shuhn)

MEANING:
noun:
1. Misleading, evasive, or ambiguous speech or action.
2. Desertion of a party, position, cause, etc.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin tergiversari (to turn one’s back, to evade), from tergum (back) + vertere (to turn). Earliest documented use: 1570.

USAGE:
“The tobacco industry is a master of tergiversation. On the one hand, it claims that plain-packaging legislation has boosted cigarette sales by leading to a price war, but at the same time it resorts to the law and lobbying to try and abolish it.”
James Moore; Letters; Sydney Morning Herald (Australia); Jul 18, 2014.

See more usage examples of tergiversation in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime. Ask the infantry and ask the dead. -Ernest Hemingway, author and journalist, Nobel laureate (21 Jul 1899-1961)

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