[ dil-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee ]
/ ˈdɪl əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i /


tending to delay or procrastinate; slow; tardy.
intended to cause delay, gain time, or defer decision: a dilatory strategy.

Nearby words

  1. dilation and evacuation,
  2. dilation and extraction,
  3. dilative,
  4. dilatometer,
  5. dilator,
  6. dilaudid,
  7. dildo,
  8. dilemma,
  9. dilemmatic,
  10. dilettante

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for dilatorily

British Dictionary definitions for dilatorily


/ (ˈdɪlətərɪ, -trɪ) /


tending or inclined to delay or waste time
intended or designed to waste time or defer action
Derived Formsdilatorily, adverbdilatoriness, noun

Word Origin for dilatory

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper