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

Advocates of the rule sued, confident the delay would be overturned since their grounds were similar to those for the SAFMR rule. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "HUD won one court battle, lost another under Ben Carson in 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 Pope Francis, however, overruled the decision and ordered that the man be dismissed from the priesthood without delay. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "Vatican Panel Faces Criticism Over Leniency for Priests Guilty of Abuse," 21 Dec. 2018 Fabian did give the judge new details that shed some light on the delay. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Government Won’t Reunite All Under-5 Children With Parents Before Tuesday Deadline," 9 July 2018 Danny Chavez, a spokesman for Lenexa police, did not respond to a question about the delay between the family's contacting police and the Amber Alert. Lauren Fox And Max Londberg, kansascity, "Amber Alert canceled for Lenexa teen. Suspect, 22, had posed as teen online, dad says," 6 July 2018 The delay complicated the patient’s options for ending the pregnancy. Dan Eaton, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Not every workplace complaint is legally protected whistleblowing," 25 June 2018 If the bunch is spread out, there is a time delay between the electrons. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Single-beam laser becomes multi-beam laser by kicking electrons," 5 Dec. 2018 If there are no delays, legal discovery would conclude in early August. Tami Abdollah, The Seattle Times, "2 attorneys general to subpoena Trump Organization, Treasury," 4 Dec. 2018 There are still delays across the Midwest, too, affecting cities like Kansas City, Grand Rapids, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis, according to FlightAware. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Winter Storm Bruce Leads to Flight Delays, Cancellations," 26 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Republicans have accused Democrats of sitting on the doctor's allegation during the hearings and looking to delay the vote until after the midterms in November. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Tentative agreement reached for Kavanaugh-Ford hearing on Thursday, source says," 2 Oct. 2018 Though the Senate Judiciary Committee was set to vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation this Thursday, the vote was delayed after Ford came forward. Andrea Park, Allure, "Emmy Awards Guest Sarah Sophie Flicker Wrote "Stop Kavanaugh" on Her Arm," 18 Sep. 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

8 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

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