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defer1

[dih-fur]
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verb (used with object), de·ferred, de·fer·ring.
  1. to put off (action, consideration, etc.) to a future time: The decision has been deferred by the board until next week.
  2. to exempt temporarily from induction into military service.
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verb (used without object), de·ferred, de·fer·ring.
  1. to put off action; delay.
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Origin of defer1

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.

defer2

[dih-fur]
verb (used without object), de·ferred, de·fer·ring.
  1. to yield respectfully in judgment or opinion (usually followed by to): We all defer to him in these matters.
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verb (used with object), de·ferred, de·fer·ring.
  1. to submit for decision; refer: We defer questions of this kind to the president.
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Origin of defer2

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

Synonyms

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

suspendextendprolongwaivedelaystallshelveadjournpostponeadmitadjustagreesubmitbowhinderretardslowlengthenremitdetain

Examples from the Web for deferring

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I admire him—you'd have to see him in the hospital, with every one deferring to him and all that, to understand.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • The reason of idleness and of crime is the deferring of our hopes.

    Essays, Second Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • By the twist of his mouth I saw that he was only deferring a smile.

    A Window in Thrums

    J. M. Barrie

  • He put it in his pocket with the eagerness of one who sharpens a pleasure by deferring it.

    The Dead Command

    Vicente Blasco Ibez

  • Doctor Bana had been only deferring the uncloaking of "Robert Shurtleff."


British Dictionary definitions for deferring

defer1

verb -fers, -ferring or -ferred
  1. (tr) to delay or cause to be delayed until a future time; postpone
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Derived Formsdeferrable or deferable, adjectivedeferrer, noun

Word Origin

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

defer2

verb -fers, -ferring or -ferred
  1. (intr foll by to) to yield (to) or comply (with) the wishes or judgments of anotherI defer to your superior knowledge
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Word Origin

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 deferring

defer

v.1

"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.

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defer

v.2

"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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper