Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of delay
Meaning of delay by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Middle English delaien, from Anglo-Norman delaier, Old French deslaier, from des- + Old French laier ( “to leave” ), a conflation of Old Frankish *latjan ( "to delay, hinder"; from Proto-Germanic *latjanan ( “to delay, hinder, stall” ), from Proto-Indo-European *le( i )d- ( “to leave, leave behind” ) ), and Old Frankish *laibjan ( "to leave"; from Proto-Germanic *laibijanan ( “to leave, cause to stay” ), from Proto-Indo-European *leip- ( “to remain, continue” ) ). Akin to Old English latian ( “to delay, hesitate” ), Old English latu ( “a delay, a hindrance” ), Old English lǣfan ( “to leave” ). More at let ( to hinder ), late, leave .


    • ( UK ) IPA: /dɪˈleɪ/
    • Rhymes: -eɪ


    delay ( plural: delays )

    1. previously unexpected period of time before an event occurs; the act of delaying .


    delay ( third-person singular simple present delays present participle delaying, simple past and past participle delayed )

    1. To put off until a later time; to distract .
    2. To retard; to stop, detain, or hinder, for a time .

    Usage notes


    External links

    • delay in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
    • delay in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911


Explanation of delay by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. slow the growth or development of

    2. cause to be slowed down or delayed

    3. Traffic was delayed by the bad weather
      she delayed the work that she didn't want to perform
    4. stop or halt

    5. act later than planned, scheduled, or required

    6. Don't delay your application to graduate school or else it won't be considered
    1. the act of delaying

    2. time during which some action is awaited

    3. instant replay caused too long a delay

    Definition of delay by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Delay n.; pl. Delays [F. délai, fr. OF. deleer to delay, or fr. L. dilatum, which, though really from a different root, is used in Latin only as a p. p. neut. of differre to carry apart, defer, delay. See Tolerate, and cf. Differ, Delay, v.] A putting off or deferring; procrastination; lingering inactivity; stop; detention; hindrance.

      Without any delay, on the morrow I sat on the judgment seat. Acts xxv. 17.

      The government ought to be settled without the delay of a day. Macaulay.

    2. Delay, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Delayed ; p. pr. & vb. n. Delaying.] [OF. deleer, delaier, fr. the noun délai, or directly fr. L. dilatare to enlarge, dilate, in LL., to put off. See Delay, n., and cf. Delate, 1st Defer, Dilate.]
      1. To put off; to defer; to procrastinate; to prolong the time of or before.

      My lord delayeth his coming. Matt. xxiv. 48.

      2. To retard; to stop, detain, or hinder, for a time; to retard the motion, or time of arrival, of; as, “the mail is delayed by a heavy fall of snow”.

      Thyrsis! whose artful strains have oft delayed

      The huddling brook to hear his madrigal. Milton.

      3. To allay; to temper. [Obs.]

      The watery showers delay the raging wind. Surrey.

    3. Delay, v. i. To move slowly; to stop for a time; to linger; to tarry.

      There seem to be certain bounds to the quickness and slowness of the succession of those ideas, . . . beyond which they can neither delay nor hasten. Locke.