We're working on a new site. Click here to get a sneak preview.


verb con·fer \kən-ˈfər\

: to discuss something important in order to make a decision

: to give (something, such as a degree, award, title, right, etc.) to someone or something


Full Definition of CONFER

intransitive verb
:  to compare views or take counsel :  consult
transitive verb
:  to bestow from or as if from a position of superiority <conferred an honorary degree on her> <knowing how to read was a gift conferred with manhood — Murray Kempton>
:  to give (as a property or characteristic) to someone or something <a reputation for power will confer power — John Spanier>
con·fer·ment \-ˈfər-mənt\ noun
con·fer·ra·ble \-ˈfər-ə-bəl\ adjective
con·fer·ral \-ˈfər-əl\ noun
con·fer·rer \-ˈfər-ər\ noun

Examples of CONFER

  1. The lawyer and judge conferred about the ruling.
  2. <the British monarch continues to confer knighthood on those who are outstanding in their fields of endeavor>
  3. The cameleers … conferred with each other about the safest path across. —Greg Child, Mixed Emotions: Mountaineering Writings of Greg Child, 1993

Origin of CONFER

Latin conferre to bring together, from com- + ferre to carry — more at bear
First Known Use: circa 1500

Synonym Discussion of CONFER

give, present, donate, bestow, confer, afford mean to convey to another as a possession. give, the general term, is applicable to any passing over of anything by any means <give alms> <gave her a ride on a pony> <give my love to your mother>. present carries a note of formality and ceremony <present an award>. donate is likely to imply a publicized giving (as to charity) <donate a piano to the orphanage>. bestow implies the conveying of something as a gift and may suggest condescension on the part of the giver <bestow unwanted advice>. confer implies a gracious giving (as of a favor or honor) <confer an honorary degree>. afford implies a giving or bestowing usually as a natural or legitimate consequence of the character of the giver <the trees afford shade> <a development that affords us some hope>.
CONFERMENT Defined for Kids


verb con·fer \kən-ˈfər\

Definition of CONFER for Kids

:  bestow, present <Many honors were conferred upon her at graduation.>
:  to compare views especially in studying a problem <The umpires decided to confer with one another.>

Word Root of CONFER

The Latin word ferre, meaning to carry or to bring, gives us the root fer. Words from the Latin ferre have something to do with carrying. To transfer is to carry across from one person, place, or condition to another. To confer is to bring something to someone in order to present it. To offer is to bring forth for another to accept or reject. To prefer is to carry a stronger liking for one over another.


Next Word in the Dictionary: confereePrevious Word in the Dictionary: confederatorAll Words Near: confer
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears