• synonyms


[dil-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee]
See more synonyms for dilatory on Thesaurus.com
  1. tending to delay or procrastinate; slow; tardy.
  2. intended to cause delay, gain time, or defer decision: a dilatory strategy.
Show More

Origin of dilatory

1250–1300; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin dīlātōrius, equivalent to dīlā-, suppletive stem of differre to postpone (see differ) + -tōrius -tory1
Related formsdil·a·to·ri·ly, adverbdil·a·to·ri·ness, nounun·dil·a·to·ri·ly, adverbun·dil·a·to·ry, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for dilatorily

Historical Examples

  • They were dilatorily obeying a call from Marjorie, and making for the window.

    The Quiver, Annual Volume 10/1899


British Dictionary definitions for dilatorily


  1. tending or inclined to delay or waste time
  2. intended or designed to waste time or defer action
Show More
Derived Formsdilatorily, adverbdilatoriness, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Late Latin dīlātōrius inclined to delay, from differre to postpone; see differ
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 dilatorily



late 15c., from Late Latin dilatorius, from dilator "procrastinator," from dilatus, serving as past participle of differe "delay" (see defer).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper