temporize (temporizes, present participle temporizing; past and past participle temporized)

  1. To deliberately act evasively or prolong a discussion in order to gain time or postpone a decision, sometimes in order to reach a compromise or simply to make a conversation more temperate; to stall for time.
  2. (dentistry) To apply a temporary piece of dental work that will later be removed.
    • 1997, Fred M. Henretig, ‎Christopher King, Textbook of Pediatric Emergency Procedures (page 731)
      Application of a protective covering as described in this chapter is a temporizing procedure performed before eventual aesthetic restoration of the tooth as an outpatient.
    • 2005, Dental Economics (volume 95, issues 1-6, page 66)
      This is especially true when we're faced with temporizing a patient who will ultimately receive veneer restorations.
  3. (obsolete) To comply with the time or occasion; to humor, or yield to, the current of opinion or circumstances; also, to trim, as between two parties.
    • They might their grievance inwardly complain, But outwardly they needs must temporize.
  4. (obsolete) To delay; to procrastinate.
    • 1622, Francis, Lord Verulam, Viscount St. Alban [i.e. Francis Bacon], The Historie of the Raigne of King Henry the Seventh, […], London: Printed by W[illiam] Stansby for Matthew Lownes, and William Barret, OCLC 1086746628 ↗:
      The earl of Lincoln deceived of the country's concourse, in which case he would have temporized, resolved to give the king battle.
    • 1598-99, William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, Act I, Scene I.
      If Cupid hath not spent all his quiver in Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly. —I look for an earthquake too then. —Well, you will temporize with the hours.
  5. (obsolete) To comply; to agree.
    • c. 1595, William Shakespeare, King John (play), Act V, Scene II
      The dauphin is too wilful opposite, And will not temporize with my entreaties: He flatly says, he'll not lay down his arms.

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