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defer

1
[ dih-fur ]
/ d瑟藞f蓽r /
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See synonyms for: defer / deferred / deferring on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), de路ferred, de路fer路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路ferred, de路fer路ring.
to put off action; delay.
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Origin of defer

1
First recorded in 1325鈥75; Middle English deferen, differren 鈥渢o delay鈥; see defer2 differ

synonym study for defer

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.

historical usage of defer

Defer 鈥渢o put off, delay鈥 comes from Middle English deferen, differren 鈥渢o put off, delay, be different, differentiate, refer a matter for decision; defer to, show respect or deference to,鈥 from Old French def(f)erer, dif(f)erer 鈥渢o have different qualities, be different, be dissimilar,鈥 from Latin differre 鈥渢o carry away, carry in different directions, differ, postpone, adjourn.鈥 Differre is composed of the prefix dif- (a variant of dis- used before f ) 鈥渁part, asunder鈥 and the simple verb ferre 鈥渢o carry, bear.鈥
Defer and differ were originally the same word, but spellings with def- for etymologically correct dif-, which first appeared in the 15th century, have become standard in part because of the sense 鈥渢o put off, delay鈥 (absent in differ ), in part because of the accent being on the root (second) syllable, and in part through association with delay .
The meaning 鈥渢o exempt temporarily from military service鈥 first appeared in 1941.

OTHER WORDS FROM defer

de路fer路rer, noun

Other definitions for defer (2 of 2)

defer2
[ dih-fur ]
/ d瑟藞f蓽r /

verb (used without object), de路ferred, de路fer路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路ferred, de路fer路ring.
to submit for decision; refer: We defer questions of this kind to the president.

Origin of defer

2
First recorded in 1400鈥50; late Middle English deferren, from Latin d膿ferre 鈥渢o carry from or down, report, accuse,鈥 equivalent to d膿- 鈥渇rom, away from, out of鈥 + ferre 鈥渢o carry鈥; see de-, bear1

historical usage of defer

Defer comes from Old French def(f)erer 鈥渢o yield to, comply with,鈥 from Latin d膿ferre 鈥渢o carry, carry down, convey, report, inform, inform against, denounce.鈥 D膿ferre is a compound of the prefix and preposition d膿-, d膿, indicating privation, removal, and separation, and the simple verb ferre 鈥渢o carry, bear鈥 ( d膿ferre has no sense 鈥渢o yield respectfully鈥). The sense 鈥渢o yield respectfully, pay deference to,鈥 which developed from the earlier sense 鈥渢o submit for decision,鈥 dates from the second half of the 17th century.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use defer in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for defer (1 of 2)

defer1
/ (d瑟藞f蓽藧) /

verb -fers, -ferring or -ferred
(tr) to delay or cause to be delayed until a future time; postpone

Derived forms of defer

deferrable or deferable, adjectivedeferrer, noun

Word Origin for defer

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

British Dictionary definitions for defer (2 of 2)

defer2
/ (d瑟藞f蓽藧) /

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 d膿ferre, literally: to bear down, from de- + ferre to bear
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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