Definition of delayed-action in English:



  • attributive Operating or effective after a predetermined length of time.

    ‘delayed-action bombs’
    • ‘It was loaded with delayed action fuses in the bombs.’
    • ‘By that time it had evolved into a powerful weapon, with a delayed-action explosive mechanism that allowed the missile to penetrate deep inside the prey before it detonated.’
    • ‘Some of these raids included the use of poison gas and delayed action bombs.’
    • ‘And even then as a delayed-action shock, and not by everybody.’
    • ‘More than 10,000 people, mostly farmers and their families, died in the following years, when their ploughs inadvertently hit these hidden bombs containing delayed-action fuses.’
    • ‘They shall be responsible for revealing all mines or delayed action fuses, and shall assist in their discovery and destruction.’
    • ‘The urgency was to remove the bombs in the inhabited areas because some of them were deliberately delayed-action bombs.’


  • mass noun The operation of something after a predetermined length of time.

    • ‘Their capital erosion - in some cases, total - means protracted and delayed action directly affects their ability to generate the income they need.’
    • ‘Last week's flooding was the worst in 30 years according to members of the business community who have been left to count the cost of delayed action by the City Council.’
    • ‘Remote controls and delayed action devices make it possible to carry out mass murder, even at a distance.’
    • ‘Most guardsmen blamed the failure of the operation on changes in planning, restrictions, lack of action or delayed action, and the President himself.’
    • ‘One particular scene, in which each of the rival twosomes tries to persuade the other to make for the lunchtime pub, is a masterly study of delayed action.’