Main definitions of defer in English

: defer1defer2

defer1

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Put off (an action or event) to a later time; postpone.

    ‘they deferred the decision until February’
    • ‘She confirmed that the parties had intentions to marry in the spring of 2002, but they did not have the money, so they deferred this event.’
    • ‘It was decided at that meeting to defer the Reunion until 2005.’
    • ‘If follow-up training sessions are deferred, benefits may soon be lost.’
    • ‘It defers commencement by only a couple of months, but that couple of months is vital in terms of principle.’
    • ‘The Club has decided to defer its annual dinner dance to the New Year due to the on-going club commitments on the field of play.’
    • ‘The Government decision to defer the programme is to be hailed.’
    • ‘Last Thursday, a number of issues arose and after nearly three hours of debate, it was decided to defer the budget meeting.’
    • ‘In such cases, one of the families may be asked to consider deferring their funeral until the following day.’
    • ‘If follow-up education sessions are deferred, benefits may soon be lost.’
    • ‘Let's call it deferred failure, and pray for success.’
    • ‘The May Country Market is deferred and will be held on Sunday 15th.’
    • ‘The ceremony was deferred until further notice.’
    • ‘As most of you may be aware, the seminar was deferred until the second week in February and I will let you know the details in the forthcoming weeks.’
    • ‘I share your opinion of the marriage laws but not your conclusion that you must defer your wedding until Utopia arrives.’
    • ‘I was figuring that he was not confident of winning such an election, and so deferred the poll to the latest practicable time.’
    • ‘Laois County Council have deferred all meetings of Laois County Council until further notice.’
    • ‘The Local Plans Panel deferred debate on the trust's plans.’
    • ‘The latter case would effectively defer an ongoing debate in the territory over introducing greater democracy in the election system in 2007.’
    • ‘He said the national executive agreed to defer the election to October 2, two weeks later than the original date of September 18.’
    • ‘The elections were deferred and the Constitution and courts suspended.’
    postpone, put off, adjourn, delay, hold off, hold over, put back, carry over
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Law (of a judge) postpone (a sentence) so that the circumstances or conduct of the defendant can be further assessed.
      ‘the judge deferred sentence until 5 April for background reports’
      • ‘Sentence was deferred until January 14, 2004, to allow him to attend the care and respect programme.’
      • ‘The judges deferred judgment until a later date.’
      • ‘Sentence was deferred for reports until June 5 and they were remanded in custody.’
      • ‘A trial date was fixed for August 28 and sentence was deferred on the other matters until then.’
      • ‘Sentence was deferred for six months until February 11.’
    2. 1.2US historical Postpone the conscription of (someone)
      ‘he was no longer deferred from the draft’
      • ‘Leslie started his National Service on November 17, 1960, after deferring his conscription in order to complete his apprenticeship as a printer.’

Origin

Late Middle English (also in the sense ‘put on one side’): from Old French differer ‘defer or differ’, from Latin differre, from dis- ‘apart’ + ferre ‘bring, carry’. Compare with defer and differ.

Pronunciation

defer

/dɪˈfəː/

Main definitions of defer in English

: defer1defer2

defer2

verb

[NO OBJECT]defer to
  • Submit to or acknowledge the merit of.

    ‘he deferred to Tim's superior knowledge’
    • ‘We defer to those we respect and dominate those we do not, and we can do these acts simultaneously without contradiction.’
    • ‘I defer to Troy on that; I'm a captive of my experts.’
    • ‘We don't defer to power structures and we don't acknowledge them.’
    • ‘I always defer to Luca when it comes to horses - he is the expert and I would be foolish not to.’
    • ‘They tend to be well informed and access data efficiently, they are mindful of special interests, distrustful of governments and disinclined to defer to the opinion of experts who they do not hold in any special awe.’
    • ‘Because the U.S. Constitution vests state lawmakers with such wide-ranging powers in these areas, on the classic view, courts must defer to state legislatures.’
    • ‘Yes, I would say that, in fact, when it comes to fiction, if I disagree, I defer to Jerry, because he's the fiction writer.’
    • ‘When you feel that urge, he suggests, picture yourself as a god or goddess, a supreme ruler, who owns the streets and stores and office space, striding alone and having your way in all situations while others defer to you.’
    • ‘I wouldn't agree, but actually I defer to Linda Erdreich on that one.’
    • ‘But it's also interesting and challenging to learn how to compromise with someone and to defer to their greater expertise on matters (as they should be happy to do with you).’
    • ‘You defer to the man you respect because he's likely to be right; this tendency to be right is why you respect him.’
    • ‘I defer to Chris Brooke's knowledge of Augustine, but I suspect that St A's response to authoritarian measures would have been, shall be say, stoical.’
    • ‘And since she realizes that outside editors often have a better sense of future readers' reaction than the author does, she'll often defer to your editorial judgment.’
    • ‘But I'm sure there are many people like me who would defer to scientific facts that are duly recorded and widely acknowledged.’
    • ‘For example, engineering seems the ultimate realm where non-specialists, whatever their opinion, must defer to white-coated experts.’
    yield, submit, give way, give in, surrender, accede, bow, capitulate, acquiesce, knuckle under
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French deferer, from Latin deferre ‘carry away, refer (a matter)’, from de- ‘away from’ + ferre ‘bring, carry’. Compare with defer.

Pronunciation

defer

/dɪˈfəː/