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delay

[dih-ley]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to put off to a later time; defer; postpone: The pilot delayed the flight until the weather cleared.
  2. to impede the process or progress of; retard; hinder: The dense fog delayed the plane's landing.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to put off action; linger; loiter: He delayed until it was too late.
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noun
  1. the act of delaying; procrastination; loitering.
  2. an instance of being delayed: There were many delays during the train trip.
  3. the period or amount of time during which something is delayed: The ballet performance began after a half-hour delay.
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Origin of delay

1225–75; Middle English delaien (v.), delai(e) (noun) < Old French delaier (v.), delai (noun)
Related formsde·lay·a·ble, adjectivede·lay·er, nounde·lay·ing·ly, adverbpre·de·lay, noun, verbun·de·lay·a·ble, adjectiveun·de·lay·ing, adjectiveun·de·lay·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms

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2. slow, detain. 3. procrastinate, tarry. 4. tarrying, dawdling. 5. deferment, postponement, respite.

Synonym study

1. See defer1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for delaying

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • At the tollhouse, there were further excuses for delaying the inevitable moment.

    Other Tales and Sketches

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • And so I saw the delaying of you was not so simple, so easy.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • She laughed, thinking of delaying dying in her own bed as long as possible.

    L'Assommoir

    Emile Zola

  • Now we are no better off, for every day is full, so we are delaying it again.

    The Dominant Strain

    Anna Chapin Ray

  • "You're only delaying us, Captain Robers," replied Winford coldly.

    The Space Rover

    Edwin K. Sloat


British Dictionary definitions for delaying

delay

verb
  1. (tr) to put off to a later time; defer
  2. (tr) to slow up, hinder, or cause to be late; detain
  3. (intr) to be irresolute or put off doing something; procrastinate
  4. (intr) to linger; dawdle
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noun
  1. the act or an instance of delaying or being delayed
  2. the interval between one event and another; lull; interlude
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Derived Formsdelayer, noun

Word Origin

C13: from Old French delaier, from des- off + laier, variant of laissier to leave, from Latin laxāre to loosen, from laxus slack, lax
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for delaying

delay

n.

mid-13c., from Old French delaie, from delaiier (see delay (v.)).

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delay

v.

c.1300, from Old French delaiier, from de- "away, from" (see de-) + laier "leave, let," probably a variant of Old French laissier, from Latin laxare "slacken, undo" (see lax). Related: Delayed; delaying.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper