[pohst-pohn, pohs-]

verb (used with object), post·poned, post·pon·ing.

to put off to a later time; defer: He has postponed his departure until tomorrow.
to place after in order of importance or estimation; subordinate: to postpone private ambitions to the public welfare.

Origin of postpone

1490–1500; < Latin postpōnere to put after, lay aside, equivalent to post- post- + pōnere to put
Related formspost·pon·a·ble, adjectivepost·pone·ment, nounpost·pon·er, nounnon·post·pon·a·ble, adjectivenon·post·pone·ment, nounre·post·pone, verb (used with object), re·post·poned, re·post·pon·ing.self-post·pone·ment, nounun·post·pon·a·ble, adjectiveun·post·poned, adjectivewell-post·poned, adjective

Synonym study

1. See defer1. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for postponing

defer, suspend, delay, shelve, adjourn, table, pigeonhole, prorogue

Examples from the Web for postponing

Contemporary Examples of postponing

Historical Examples of postponing

  • It was a thing remote and only important as postponing her punishment from Jack.

  • She had not as yet written to her cousin, postponing that work for the following day.

    The Vicar of Bullhampton

    Anthony Trollope

  • She lived from day to day, postponing, closing her eyes, trying not to think.

  • As for any feeling of shyness about it, of relief at postponing it—what nonsense!

    Somehow Good

    William de Morgan

  • But will you be good enough to tell me what the advantage of postponing the discovery will be?

    Hurricane Island

    H. B. Marriott Watson

British Dictionary definitions for postponing


verb (tr)

to put off or delay until a future time
to put behind in order of importance; defer
Derived Formspostponable, adjectivepostponement, nounpostponer, noun

Word Origin for postpone

C16: from Latin postpōnere to put after, neglect, from post- + ponere to place
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 postponing



c.1500, from Latin postponere "put after; esteem less; neglect; postpone," from post "after" (see post-) + ponere "put, place" (see position (n.)). Related: Postponed; postponing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper