Meaning of DELAY in English



Function: verb

Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French delaier, from de- + laier to leave, from lai-, present and future stem of lesser, laisser to leave, from Latin laxare to slacken, from laxus loose ― more at SLACK

Date: 14th century

transitive verb

1 : PUT OFF , POSTPONE < delay a departure>

2 : to stop, detain, or hinder for a time <the mails were delay ed by heavy snows>

3 : to cause to be slower or to occur more slowly than normal < delay a child's development>

intransitive verb : to move or act slowly also : to cause delay

– de · lay · er noun

synonyms DELAY , RETARD , SLOW , SLACKEN , DETAIN mean to cause to be late or behind in movement or progress. DELAY implies a holding back, usually by interference, from completion or arrival <bad weather delayed our arrival>. RETARD suggests reduction of speed without actual stopping <language barriers retarded their progress>. SLOW and SLACKEN also imply a reduction of speed, SLOW often suggesting deliberate intention <medication slowed the patient's heart rate>, SLACKEN an easing up or relaxing of power or effort <on hot days runners slacken their pace>. DETAIN implies a holding back beyond a reasonable or appointed time <unexpected business had detained her>.

synonyms DELAY , PROCRASTINATE , LAG , LOITER , DAWDLE , DALLY mean to move or act slowly so as to fall behind. DELAY usually implies a putting off (as a beginning or departure) <we cannot delay any longer>. PROCRASTINATE implies blameworthy delay especially through laziness or apathy < procrastinates about making decisions>. LAG implies failure to maintain a speed set by others < lagging behind in technology>. LOITER and DAWDLE imply delay while in progress, especially in walking, but DAWDLE more clearly suggests an aimless wasting of time < loitered at several store windows> <children dawdling on their way home from school>. DALLY suggests delay through trifling or vacillation when promptness is necessary <stop dallying and get to work>.

Merriam Webster Collegiate English Dictionary.      Merriam Webster - Энциклопедический словарь английского языка.