- 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.
- to put off action; delay.
Origin of defer1
- to yield respectfully in judgment or opinion (usually followed by to): We all defer to him in these matters.
- to submit for decision; refer: We defer questions of this kind to the president.
Origin of defer2
SynonymsSee more synonyms for defer on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for defer
Or will we simply see more senseless bloodshed and another generation of Palestinians defer their dreams of a homeland?In the Middle East, the Two-State Solution Is Dead
January 2, 2015
Owens also accused her of making far more than she claims to need in order to defer the costs of her $58,000 tuition.Duke's Freshman Porn Starlet Isn't Ashamed—and She Shouldn't Be
February 24, 2014
The president respects him and has been known to defer to him.Afghan Elections: The Warlords Are Back
Ron Moreau, Sami Yousafzai
October 16, 2013
Messina asked to defer the conversation until after the midterm elections of 2010.No Drama Obama’s Dramatic 2012 Reelection Campaign
September 12, 2013
Considering that there are often over 50 people on the ballot, voters to tend just defer to their party.Julian Assange's Political Party Implodes
August 23, 2013
He was not the man to defer in that way to the prejudices of others.In the Valley
There was no familiarity of manner there; the clerks liked him, but they had to defer to him and obey him.The Channings
Mrs. Henry Wood
I defer it to a time when this curiosity will be more in place.The Memoirs of Louis XIV., His Court and The Regency, Complete
Duc de Saint-Simon
I will defer my departure until the afternoon train to-morrow for that purpose.The Rise of Roscoe Paine
Joseph C. Lincoln
She had put off writing week after week, but now could defer no longer.One Of Them
Charles James Lever
- (tr) to delay or cause to be delayed until a future time; postpone
- (intr foll by to) to yield (to) or comply (with) the wishes or judgments of anotherI defer to your superior knowledge
Word Origin and History for defer
"to delay," late 14c., differren, deferren, from Old French differer (14c.), from Latin differre "carry apart, scatter, disperse;" also "be different, differ;" also "defer, put off, postpone," (see differ). Etymologically identical with differ; the spelling and pronunciation differentiated from 15c., perhaps partly by association of this word with delay.