Definition of temporize in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtempəˌrīz/


1 [no object] Avoid making a decision or committing oneself in order to gain time: the opportunity was missed because the mayor still temporized
More example sentences
  • The council had temporized on quite crucial decisions.
  • Moderate leaders continue to temporize and avoid coming to grips with extremists.
  • Liberals are classified as weak, insipid, temporizing, and unprincipled.
equivocate, procrastinate, play for time, play a waiting game, stall, use delaying tactics, give someone the runaround, delay, hang back, prevaricate, hem and haw
2Temporarily adopt a particular course in order to conform to the circumstances: their unwillingness to temporize had driven their country straight into conflict with France
More example sentences
  • He will temporise the most disreputable political causes in order to promote his agenda.
  • Further temporizing with paramilitary and criminal activity will no longer be tolerated.
  • His strategy is to start with a bold measure and then temporize to pick up the conservative forces.



Pronunciation: /ˌtemp(ə)rəˈzāSH(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • It is a temporisation: a device for avoiding to commit oneself.
  • He steered the US back toward the path of temporisation and appeasement.
  • Nothing has been more deleterious in this war than the promise of hard force followed by temporization.


Pronunciation: /ˈtempəˌrīzər/
Example sentences
  • He is a temporizer who has stood up for tyrants.
  • He came to see himself as a temporizer.


Late 16th century: from French temporiser 'bide one's time', from medieval Latin temporizare 'to delay', from Latin tempus, tempor- 'time'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: tem·po·rize

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