[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 confers

Contemporary Examples of confers

Historical Examples of confers

  • In the play as in history, Charles now confers upon Wentworth an Earldom.

    Browning's England

    Helen Archibald Clarke

  • It confers also a benefit similar to that which is derived from a course of arithmetic.

  • This knowledge is a supernatural gift, which (in the Poimandres) confers ‘deification’.

  • I know the happiness it confers upon you to be able to do what you have done.

    Fairy Fingers

    Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie

  • This it is that "gives him immortality," and confers upon him the dignity of manhood.

British Dictionary definitions for confers


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 confers



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