temporize

play
verb tem·po·rize \ˈtem-pə-ˌrīz\

Definition of temporize

temporized

;

temporizing

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to act to suit the time or occasion :  yield to current or dominant opinion

  3. 2 :  to draw out discussions or negotiations so as to gain time you'd have to temporize until you found out how she wanted to be advised — Mary Austin

temporization

play \ˌtem-pə-rə-ˈzā-shən\ noun

temporizer

noun

temporize was our Word of the Day on 06/18/2011. Hear the podcast!

Examples of temporize in a sentence

  1. Pressured by voters on both sides of the issue, the congressmen temporized.

Did You Know?

Temporize comes from the Medieval Latin verb temporizare ("to pass the time"), which itself comes from the Latin noun tempus, meaning "time." "Tempus" is also the root of such words as "tempo," "contemporary," and "temporal." If you need to buy some time, you might resort to temporizing - but you probably won't win admiration for doing so. "Temporize" can have a somewhat negative connotation. For instance, a political leader faced with a difficult issue might temporize by talking vaguely about possible solutions without actually doing anything. The point of such temporizing is to avoid taking definite - and possibly unpopular - action, in hopes that the problem will somehow go away. But the effect is often just to make matters worse.

Origin and Etymology of temporize

Middle French temporiser, from Medieval Latin temporizare to pass the time, from Latin tempor-, tempus


First Known Use: 1579


TEMPORIZE Defined for English Language Learners

temporize

play
verb tem·po·rize \ˈtem-pə-ˌrīz\

Definition of temporize for English Language Learners

  • : to avoid making a decision or giving a definite answer in order to have more time

Learn More about temporize


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