delay

noun
de·​lay | \ di-ˈlā, dē-\

Definition of delay

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : the act of postponing, hindering, or causing something to occur more slowly than normal : the state of being delayed get started without delay
b : an instance of being delayed apologized for the delay a rain delay
2 : the time during which something is delayed waited out a delay of 30 minutes

delay

verb
delayed; delaying; delays

Definition of delay (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : put off, postpone delay a departure They're delaying marriage or, increasingly, not getting married at all …— Irin Carmon
2 : to stop, detain, or hinder for a time the mails were delayed by heavy snows … issued executive orders delaying the release of records from Ronald Reagan's administration …Editor & Publisher
3 : to cause to be slower or to occur more slowly than normal delay a child's development … a drug that not only can extend life by delaying the onset of aging-related diseases …— Bill Gifford

intransitive verb

: to move or act slowly This offer ends soon, so don't delay. delayed in responding to my message also : to cause delay

DeLay

biographical name
De·​Lay | \ di-ˈlā \

Definition of DeLay (Entry 3 of 3)

Thomas (Dale) 1947–     American politician

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Other Words from delay

Verb

delayer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for delay

Verb

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

delay, procrastinate, lag, loiter, dawdle, dally mean to move or act slowly so as to fall behind. delay usually implies a putting off of something (such 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

Examples of delay in a Sentence

Noun

Do you know what's causing the delay? a number of flight delays After months of delay, construction on the new school began. Airline travelers are experiencing delays of up to three hours.

Verb

The doctor wants to delay surgery for a few weeks. She's planning to delay her retirement. He delayed too long, and now it's too late. “Don't delay! Sale ends Saturday.” Production problems delayed the introduction of the new model by several months.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There was also a two-year delay between the first hearing and the first verdict, without the court applying for extensions according to procedure, the person said. Eva Dou, WSJ, "China Gives Four Days’ Notice for Canadian’s Retrial on Drug Charges," 11 Jan. 2019 The same thing happens in summer — there’s a delay between when solar insolation is at its maximum (the summer solstice in June) and when the hottest months are (usually July or August). Brian Resnick, Vox, "The winter solstice is Friday: 8 things to know about the shortest day of the year," 18 Dec. 2018 Facebook soon countered with a massive press blitz a week later to show users and the media that its founder was taking the issue seriously, but some blamed Schrage for that delay. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "The social networking giant is on a hunt all over the globe for a new head of policy and communications.," 10 Oct. 2018 There were a couple of delays between rows of fireworks, and the finale came without accompanying music, but no one seemed to care. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "Liberty fireworks go on despite rain," 5 July 2018 The delay between reporting and updates is as much as 60 days. Lauryn Schroeder, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Does your school have lead in its drinking water?," 5 July 2018 During an interview with Big Boy's Neighborhood (June 26), the 27-year-old admitted that huge issues with sample clearances were to blame for the delay. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "Pusha T & Drake's Feud, Kanye's G.O.O.D. Music Domination, XXXTentacion's Death, 'Scorpion' & More: Recapping a Wild 40 Days in Hip-Hop," 2 July 2018 The court has laid out valid reasons for delay: humanitarian issues, such as a hospitalization; the unavailability of government personnel or judges to complete arraignment; and extra time needed to determine if criminal charges should be filed. Kristina Davis, latimes.com, "Problems getting detainees to court on time magnified under 'zero-tolerance' immigration crackdown," 24 June 2018 Apple’s protections against incorrect passcode entry include longer and longer delays between the entry of each wrong code as well as erasing the phone after 10 incorrect password attempts. Glenn Fleishman, Fortune, "Apple iOS Passcode Crack Revealed by Security Researcher. Watch the Exploit in Action," 22 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Critics saw the move as retaliation for Mrs. Pelosi’s request a day earlier that Mr. Trump delay his State of the Union speech. Natalie Andrews, WSJ, "Pelosi Gives Up on Overseas Trip, Citing Security Concerns," 18 Jan. 2019 Over 140,000 passengers had their flights diverted or delayed. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "What Are Airports Going to Do About Drones?," 9 Jan. 2019 And although Priyanka and Nick have technically delayed their honeymoon due to the actress's work schedule, this trip makes for a perfectly relaxing post-wedding getaway in the meantime. Tess Kornfeld, Glamour, "Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas Are on a Couples' Ski Vacation With Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas," 29 Dec. 2018 Metro insists this layout won’t delay buses, but experience suggests otherwise at the upper West Seattle Bridge, where buses crawl with cars in the spiral ramp to Sodo. Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times, "What will the Highway 99 tunnel opening mean for bus routes, detours and tsunamis? We answer those questions and more," 12 Dec. 2018 Such an abrupt and impactful change can disrupt your hormonal balance, creating delayed and irregular periods. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "8 Reasons for a Late Period Besides Pregnancy, According to an OB/GYN," 30 Nov. 2018 SpaceX delayed its test launches for the Commercial Crew program and is being reviewed by NASA after Musk smoked weed on the Joe Rogan podcast. Elizabeth Lopatto, The Verge, "Elon Musk is the first influencer CEO," 21 Dec. 2018 May’s decision to delay the vote on the deal — possibly as late as January 21 of next year — infuriated members of Parliament within her party and outside of it. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The no-confidence vote against Theresa May, explained," 12 Dec. 2018 The Invictus Games Opening Ceremony, which is held in an open-air theater, was delayed because of thunderstorms. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Wore Navy Stella McCartney to the Invictus Games Opening Ceremony," 20 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'delay.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of delay

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for delay

Verb and Noun

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

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Statistics for delay

Last Updated

22 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for delay

The first known use of delay was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for delay

delay

noun

English Language Learners Definition of delay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a situation in which something happens later than it should

: the amount of time that you must wait for something that is late

delay

verb

English Language Learners Definition of delay (Entry 2 of 2)

: to wait until later to do something : to make something happen later

: to make (something or someone) late : to make (something or someone) take longer than expected or planned

delay

noun
de·​lay | \ di-ˈlā \

Kids Definition of delay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a putting off of something We began without delay.
2 : the time during which something is delayed We will have a delay of 30 minutes.

delay

verb
delayed; delaying

Kids Definition of delay (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to put off Because of the baseball schedule, Stanley's trial was delayed several months.— Louis Sachar, Holes
2 : to stop or prevent for a time Bad weather delayed our flight.
3 : to move or act slowly We cannot delay any longer.

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More from Merriam-Webster on delay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with delay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for delay

Spanish Central: Translation of delay

Nglish: Translation of delay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of delay for Arabic Speakers

Comments on delay

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