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temporize

The verb temporize describes stalling in order to gain time in the hopes of avoiding or preventing something. Your class might temporize so your teacher won't have time to give the pop quiz you all think she's going to give.

Accent the first syllable of temporize: "TEM-puh-rise." Tempor- means "time," which you probably recognize from other time-related words such as temporary, temporal, and contemporary. Temporize comes from the Middle French word temporiser, meaning "to pass one's time, wait one's time."

Definitions of temporize
  1. verb
    draw out a discussion or process in order to gain time
    “The speaker temporized in order to delay the vote”
    synonyms: temporise
    see moresee less
    type of:
    draw out, extend, prolong, protract
    lengthen in time; cause to be or last longer
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