defer

1
[dih-fur]

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

to put off (action, consideration, etc.) to a future time: The decision has been deferred by the board until next week.
to exempt temporarily from induction into military service.

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

to put off action; delay.

Nearby words

  1. defensive back,
  2. defensive circle,
  3. defensive driving,
  4. defensive medicine,
  5. defensively,
  6. deference,
  7. deferent,
  8. deferent duct,
  9. deferentectomy,
  10. deferential

Origin of defer

1
1325–75; Middle English deferren, variant of differren to differ

Related formsde·fer·rer, noun

Synonym study

1. Defer, delay, postpone imply keeping something from occurring until a future time. To defer is to decide to do something later on: to defer making a payment. To delay is sometimes equivalent to defer, but usually it is to act in a dilatory manner and thus lay something aside: to delay one's departure. To postpone a thing is to put it off to (usually) some particular time in the future, with the intention of beginning or resuming it then: to postpone an election. 3. procrastinate.

defer

2
[dih-fur]

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

to yield respectfully in judgment or opinion (usually followed by to): We all defer to him in these matters.

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

to submit for decision; refer: We defer questions of this kind to the president.

Origin of defer

2
1400–50; late Middle English deferren < Latin dēferre to carry from or down, report, accuse, equivalent to dē- de- + ferre to bear1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for defer


British Dictionary definitions for defer

defer

1

verb -fers, -ferring or -ferred

(tr) to delay or cause to be delayed until a future time; postpone
Derived Formsdeferrable or deferable, adjectivedeferrer, noun

Word Origin for defer

C14: from Old French differer to be different, postpone; see differ

verb -fers, -ferring or -ferred

(intr foll by to) to yield (to) or comply (with) the wishes or judgments of anotherI defer to your superior knowledge

Word Origin for defer

C15: from Latin dēferre, literally: to bear down, from de- + ferre to bear

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 defer
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper