Since murder was that man's intention, why should he palter with small details?
-- Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad
Bathsheba would probably have terminated the conversation there and then by flatly forbidding the subject, had not her conscious weakness of position allured her to palter and argue in endeavors to better it.
-- Thomas Hardy, Far From the Madding Crowd
Palter is of unknown origin. It first arose in the 1540s, and it may be a variation of the word falter.