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.
Origin of defer1
1325–75;Middle Englishdeferren, variant of differren to differ
Related formsde·fer·rer, noun
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.
"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.
"yield," mid-15c., from Middle French déférer (14c.) "to yield, comply," from Latin deferre "carry away, transfer, grant," from de- "down, away" (see de-) + ferre "carry" (see infer). Main modern sense is from meaning "refer (a matter) to someone," which also was in Latin.