Meaning of DELAY in English

DELAY

INDEX:

1. to make someone or something arrive late

2. to make something happen later or take longer than it should

3. to deliberately delay someone or something

4. a situation in which someone or something is delayed

RELATED WORDS

arrange to do something later than planned : ↑ LATER

see also

↑ LATE

↑ LATER

↑ CANCEL

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1. to make someone or something arrive late

▷ be delayed /biː dɪˈleɪd/ [verb phrase]

to make someone or something late - use this especially about a problem or something unexpected :

▪ Mr Evans has been delayed but will be joining us shortly.

▪ Our plane was delayed by fog.

▪ I mustn’t delay you any longer.

get delayed

▪ There was an accident on the freeway and we got delayed.

▷ make somebody late /ˌmeɪk somebody ˈleɪt/ [verb phrase not in passive]

to delay someone or something so that they arrive somewhere late :

make sb late for

▪ The accident made us late for work.

▪ I’ll let you go - I don’t want to make you late for your appointment.

make somebody late doing something

▪ Catching a later train made Frank late getting to the office.

▷ hold up /ˌhəʊld ˈʌp/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to make someone or something stop or go more slowly when they are going somewhere :

hold somebody up

▪ I won’t hold you up - I can see you’re in a hurry.

hold up somebody/something

▪ Get a move on, you two! You’re holding up the whole queue!

be/get held up

▪ We got held up in traffic and missed the show.

▷ keep /kiːp/ [transitive verb not in passive] informal

to delay someone when they are trying to go somewhere :

▪ He should be here by now. What’s keeping him?

▷ detain /dɪˈteɪn/ [transitive verb] formal

to delay someone, especially by keeping them talking or working :

▪ I won’t detain you for much longer, Miss Reid. There are just a few more questions that I need to ask you.

be unavoidably detained

by something that you cannot prevent

▪ Mr Jones should be here, but I’m afraid he’s been unavoidably detained.

2. to make something happen later or take longer than it should

▷ delay /dɪˈleɪ/ [transitive verb usually in passive]

to make something happen later than it should, or take longer than it should :

▪ The President’s visit had to be delayed because of security problems.

▪ This latest terrorist attack is bound to delay the peace talks even further.

delay by

▪ The plane’s departure was delayed by mechanical problems.

be delayed for 5 hours/2 months etc

▪ The opening of the new bridge may be delayed for several months.

▷ hold up /ˌhəʊld ˈʌp/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to make something happen late, or make it happen more slowly than it should :

hold up something

▪ Protesters held up work on the new road.

be held up by something

▪ The peace talks are being held up by continued fighting on the border.

hold somebody/something up

▪ They should have finished that job on Friday - what’s holding them up?

▪ Her stubbornness on this one issue is holding the whole deal up.

▷ set back also put back British /ˌset ˈbæk, ˌpʊt ˈbæk/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to delay the progress or development of something by a number of weeks, months etc :

set somebody/something etc back

▪ Your mistake has set us back several weeks.

▪ The Transportation Department first announced that the expressway would be completed by 2002, but it has since set the timetable back.

set back somebody/something

▪ The start date kept being put back, for a variety of reasons.

▷ get bogged down /get ˌbɒgd ˈdaʊnǁ-ˌbɑːgd-/ [verb phrase] informal

if a person or planned piece of work gets bogged down, they are delayed and prevented from continuing because of complicated or difficult problems :

get bogged down in

▪ The project got bogged down in a series of legal disputes.

get bogged down by

▪ Keep the document simple and avoid getting bogged down by complicated formatting.

3. to deliberately delay someone or something

▷ stall /stɔːl/ [intransitive/transitive verb]

to deliberately delay doing something, or to deliberately stop someone else from doing something until a later time, either because you are not ready or to give yourself an advantage :

▪ Quit stalling and tell me where she is.

▪ I’m not ready to talk to him yet - go out there and see if you can stall him.

▪ City officials have slowed the development by stalling building permits for the area.

▷ play for time /ˌpleɪ fəʳ ˈtaɪm/ [verb phrase]

to deliberately try to delay doing something or making a decision, because you are not ready or want more time to think about it :

▪ Stop playing for time and give us an answer.

▪ The rebel’s current ceasefire doesn’t amount to much more than playing for time.

▷ delaying tactics /dɪˈleɪ-ɪŋ ˌtæktɪks/ [plural noun]

methods used, especially by politicians, in order to delay a plan or decision so that something can be done during the delay :

▪ Some politicians are prepared to use delaying tactics to block the bill.

▪ The peace negotiations were being held up by the delaying tactics of France and Great Britain.

▷ procrastinate /prəˈkræstɪneɪt, prəˈkræstəneɪt/ [intransitive verb]

to delay doing something that you ought to do, usually because you do not want to do it - used especially to show disapproval :

▪ He hesitated and procrastinated for weeks before he finally told her he wanted their relationship to end.

procrastinate about/over

▪ Certain players are procrastinating over their contracts in order to see how much money they can squeeze out of their clubs.

procrastination /prəˌkræstɪˈneɪʃ ə n/ [uncountable noun]

▪ She finally agreed to take the job after months of procrastination.

4. a situation in which someone or something is delayed

▷ delay /dɪˈleɪ/ [countable/uncountable noun]

when someone or something is delayed :

▪ Any delay in the production process is costly to a company.

long delay

▪ The strike is causing long delays at the airport

three months’/several weeks’ etc delay

▪ After three months’ delay, work finally began on the new building.

delay in doing something

▪ There have been a lot of complaints about delays in issuing passports.

▷ hold-up/holdup /ˈhəʊld ʌp/ [countable noun]

a delay, especially one caused by an unexpected problem, that interrupts a journey or a piece of work :

▪ An accident on the London-Brighton road has caused a major hold-up.

▪ There’s been a hold-up with the builders, so the new office won’t be ready for several months.

▷ bottleneck /ˈbɒtlnekǁˈbɑː-/ [countable noun]

a delay in one stage of a process that stops making progress and makes the whole process take longer :

▪ There’s always going to be a bottleneck because only two people review all the applications.

▪ If we don’t hire more people in production we’re going to have a huge bottleneck in a few months.

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