[kuh n-fur]

verb (used without object), con·ferred, con·fer·ring.

to consult together; compare opinions; carry on a discussion or deliberation.

verb (used with object), con·ferred, con·fer·ring.

to bestow upon as a gift, favor, honor, etc.: to confer a degree on a graduate.
Obsolete. to compare.

Origin of confer

1400–50 for earlier sense “to summon”; 1520–30 for current senses; late Middle English conferen < Latin conferre to bring together, compare, consult with, equivalent to con- con- + ferre to carry, bear1
Related formscon·fer·ment, nouncon·fer·ra·ble, adjectivecon·fer·rer, nounnon·con·fer·ra·ble, adjectivepre·con·fer, verb (used without object), pre·con·ferred, pre·con·fer··con·fer, verb, re·con·ferred, re·con·fer·ring.un·con·ferred, adjectivewell-con·ferred, adjective

Synonym study

1. See consult. 2. See give. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for conferred

Contemporary Examples of conferred

Historical Examples of conferred

  • A life-time as long as that conferred upon the namesake of Tithonus.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • The practical result of the Ode was a pension of 200 a year conferred on him by Queen Anne.


    Edward J. Dent

  • Sometimes it is conferred by an unfriendly and inconsiderate hand.

  • Another great benefit they conferred upon the world was that of charity.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • He accepted the office in the spirit in which it had been conferred upon him.

British Dictionary definitions for conferred


verb -fers, -ferring or -ferred

(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
Derived Formsconferment or conferral, nounconferrable, adjectiveconferrer, noun

Word Origin for confer

C16: from Latin conferre to gather together, compare, from com- together + ferre to bring
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 conferred



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper