Definition of confer in English:



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

    ‘moves were made to confer an honorary degree on her’
    • ‘As a custom, it became regulated by laws that confer rights and impose duties on those who practice it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The use of the loan system confers multiple benefits on the parties concerned.’
    • ‘Those who drafted the Convention have taken pains to confer rights differentially according to a classification process.’
    • ‘It is the only means of establishing, under law, that the university has a historic power to confer degrees.’
    • ‘This may confer an added benefit on women, whose families may be reluctant to let them study overseas.’
    • ‘Finally, has any valuable benefit been conferred on either party?’
    • ‘Statehood, even if qualified as provisional or interim, confers a degree of sovereignty.’
    • ‘The ceremony in which SFU will confer the honorary degrees, will be held on the last day of the Dalai Lama's visit.’
    • ‘Since the law confers this public right, I deprecate any attempt artificially to restrict its scope.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It does not confer a right of property as such nor does it guarantee the content of any rights in property.’
    • ‘By this very simple definition, we see that law confers rights.’
    • ‘Chief among these is the question of whether any benefits were conferred on the generous donors.’
    • ‘Is it alcohol or wine in particular that confers these benefits?’
    • ‘It also shows how the district confers benefits on firms in indirect ways.’
    • ‘In principle, it is patent rights that confer property rights in innovations.’
    • ‘It is often assumed that participation in clinical trials confers benefit to patients.’
    • ‘They also fear it can easily be coached and thus confer benefits to wealthy applicants.’
    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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He in turn confers with Geronimo, the local stage tech and they work something out with sidelights.’
    • ‘I find nothing more satisfying than quietly conferring with other nations to develop a proposal that improves species conservation.’
    • ‘I conferred with him where I discussed the problem with lack of disclosure from the officers.’
    • ‘He began in Tibetan but quickly switched to English, often conferring with his eloquent translator to confirm his use of words.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The two CIA agents then conferred, but only parts of their conversation can be heard.’
    • ‘After conferring with flight controllers and three doctors who happened to be on board, the pilot decided to land in Newfoundland's capital.’
    • ‘He made his translation, not conferring with anyone, and brought it to the weekly meeting of the company.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For example the scenes of Bobby's grandmother conferring with the psychic at around 70 minutes is very finely detailed.’
    • ‘Throughout this exchange, Arlene and the little woman were conferring.’
    • ‘Then there's the party's head of political intelligence, a man with whom the prime minister confers regularly.’
    • ‘There on the road, the woman is conferring with Henry.’
    • ‘‘After conferring with my colleagues, several of them asked me to run for chair,’ he said.’
    • ‘But the fight was stopped by the referee, after conferring with the ringside physician, at the conclusion of the round.’
    • ‘He had been talking with some of the other passengers and conferring with them as well.’
    • ‘They seemed to be conferring amongst themselves, even though they didn't speak aloud.’
    • ‘He remained on the bridge, constantly conferring with the officer of the deck as the events on the surface unfolded.’
    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 confer): from Latin conferre, from con- together + ferre bring.