Definition of confer in English:



  • 1[with object] Grant (a title, degree, benefit, or right):

    ‘the Minister may have exceeded the powers conferred on him by Parliament’
    • ‘Finally, has any valuable benefit been conferred on either party?’
    • ‘By this very simple definition, we see that law confers rights.’
    • ‘In principle, it is patent rights that confer property rights in innovations.’
    • ‘It is the only means of establishing, under law, that the university has a historic power to confer degrees.’
    • ‘As a custom, it became regulated by laws that confer rights and impose duties on those who practice it.’
    • ‘Since the law confers this public right, I deprecate any attempt artificially to restrict its scope.’
    • ‘One of the things I found is that just because you pass a law and confer a benefit doesn't mean people know it exists.’
    • ‘It does not confer a right of property as such nor does it guarantee the content of any rights in property.’
    • ‘The first is that the Act is a scheme of social welfare, intended to confer benefits at the public expense on grounds of public policy.’
    • ‘Is it alcohol or wine in particular that confers these benefits?’
    • ‘The ceremony in which SFU will confer the honorary degrees, will be held on the last day of the Dalai Lama's visit.’
    • ‘They also fear it can easily be coached and thus confer benefits to wealthy applicants.’
    • ‘It also shows how the district confers benefits on firms in indirect ways.’
    • ‘As we have seen, it is only through the state that society confers rights on individuals; and each state is necessarily a single, particular polity.’
    • ‘This may confer an added benefit on women, whose families may be reluctant to let them study overseas.’
    • ‘The use of the loan system confers multiple benefits on the parties concerned.’
    • ‘Chief among these is the question of whether any benefits were conferred on the generous donors.’
    • ‘Those who drafted the Convention have taken pains to confer rights differentially according to a classification process.’
    • ‘It is often assumed that participation in clinical trials confers benefit to patients.’
    • ‘Statehood, even if qualified as provisional or interim, confers a degree of sovereignty.’
    bestow on, present to, present with, grant to, award to, decorate with, honour with, give to, give out to, gift with, endow with, vest in, hand out to, extend to, vouchsafe to, accord to
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  • 2[no object] Have discussions; exchange opinions:

    ‘the officials were conferring with allies’
    • ‘They are always conferring with each other and chuckling away in a nice little group there, but it is a group that people are going to see as part of a failed Government.’
    • ‘Throughout this exchange, Arlene and the little woman were conferring.’
    • ‘After conferring with the huge arrival board near the wall of windows, she looked over to the crowd of reporters and camera crews surrounding the door.’
    • ‘He had been talking with some of the other passengers and conferring with them as well.’
    • ‘‘After conferring with my colleagues, several of them asked me to run for chair,’ he said.’
    • ‘He began in Tibetan but quickly switched to English, often conferring with his eloquent translator to confirm his use of words.’
    • ‘He made his translation, not conferring with anyone, and brought it to the weekly meeting of the company.’
    • ‘She asks if there is any hardware in the leg - such as a pin in the hip - confers with the Chinese man, makes a call and sends me back to unit two.’
    • ‘But the fight was stopped by the referee, after conferring with the ringside physician, at the conclusion of the round.’
    • ‘He spent much of his time in the countryside, conferring with party secretaries, cajoling farm chairmen, making promises to the peasants in the kind of earthy language they could understand.’
    • ‘He remained on the bridge, constantly conferring with the officer of the deck as the events on the surface unfolded.’
    • ‘I find nothing more satisfying than quietly conferring with other nations to develop a proposal that improves species conservation.’
    • ‘For example the scenes of Bobby's grandmother conferring with the psychic at around 70 minutes is very finely detailed.’
    • ‘He in turn confers with Geronimo, the local stage tech and they work something out with sidelights.’
    • ‘Then there's the party's head of political intelligence, a man with whom the prime minister confers regularly.’
    • ‘After conferring with flight controllers and three doctors who happened to be on board, the pilot decided to land in Newfoundland's capital.’
    • ‘I conferred with him where I discussed the problem with lack of disclosure from the officers.’
    • ‘The two CIA agents then conferred, but only parts of their conversation can be heard.’
    • ‘They seemed to be conferring amongst themselves, even though they didn't speak aloud.’
    • ‘There on the road, the woman is conferring with Henry.’
    consult, have discussions, discuss things, exchange views, talk, have a talk, speak, converse, communicate, have a chat, have a tête-à-tête
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Late Middle English (in the general sense ‘bring together’, also in confer): from Latin conferre, from con- together + ferre bring.