tergiversate

Use the verb tergiversate when you need a fancy way to describe someone who's beating around the bush, or being deliberately unclear.

A politician who really doesn't want to answer a reporter's question is likely to tergiversate, or talk and talk without ever taking a definitive stand. Your relatives may even tergiversate at holiday gatherings when uncomfortable topics come up. The Latin root word, tergiversari, literally means "to turn one's back," or more figuratively, "to be evasive."

Definitions of tergiversate
  1. verb
    be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or withhold information
    synonyms: beat around the bush, equivocate, palter, prevaricate
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    type of:
    misinform, mislead
    give false or misleading information to
  2. verb
    abandon one's beliefs or allegiances
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