- to consult together; compare opinions; carry on a discussion or deliberation.
- to bestow upon as a gift, favor, honor, etc.: to confer a degree on a graduate.
- Obsolete. to compare.
Origin of confer
- (tr; foll by on or upon) to grant or bestow (an honour, gift, etc)
- (intr) to hold or take part in a conference or consult together
- (tr) an obsolete word for compare
Word Origin for confer
1530s, from Middle French conférer (14c.) "to give, converse, compare," from Latin conferre "to bring together," figuratively "to compare; consult, deliberate, talk over," from com- "together" (see com-) + ferre "to bear" (see infer). Sense of "taking counsel" led to conference. The meaning "compare" (common 1530-1650) is largely obsolete, but the abbreviation cf. still is used in this sense. Related: Conferred; conferring.