delay

noun
de·​lay | \ di-ˈlā How to pronounce delay (audio) , 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 How to pronounce DeLay (audio) \

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

Due to major production delays, Solange will unfortunately no longer be performing at this year's festival. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Why Solange Cancelled Her Coachella 2019 Performance," 8 Apr. 2019 There could be several delays stretching into the afternoon on various airlines. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Hundreds of Flights Across The Country Were Delayed by a Computer Glitch," 1 Apr. 2019 That means those annoying delays when streaming games over Wi-Fi or making calls could be a thing of the past. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "7 tweaks and changes in Android Q that will make your phone better than it is now," 13 Mar. 2019 Power-clash your way through jet lag and flight delays. Vogue, "5 Airport Style Lessons From Fashion Month’s Off-Duty Stars," 12 Mar. 2019 Additionally, mandatory programs including Medicare are due to keep running, though new sign-ups could see some delay. Li Zhou, Vox, "Wednesday is day 5 of a partial government shutdown. It could go on for a while.," 26 Dec. 2018 Other services will send actual flight delay notifications but not predictions. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "Google Assistant will proactively tell you if it thinks your flight will be delayed," 17 Dec. 2018 After that delay, KickSat-1 failed to discharge its Sprites because of an electrical problem likely caused by exposure to radiation. Steve Nadis, Discover Magazine, "The Tiny Satellites That Might Fly to Another Solar System," 18 Oct. 2018 European officials are now working on the assumption that unless Britain exits on March 29 with no agreement, there will be a minimum three-month delay to Brexit. Stephen Fidler, WSJ, "As Brexit Deadline Nears, EU Loses Confidence in May," 13 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The crippling financial burden has caused millions to default on their loans, and many more to delay starting families or purchasing homes. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Michael Bloomberg Is Donating $1.8 Billion to Fund Scholarships at Johns Hopkins," 19 Nov. 2018 While pipelines generally come under federal jurisdiction, state, county and municipal officials in recent years have found ways to delay or even kill projects, a development that has forced companies to pay closer attention to local politics. Katherine Blunt, San Antonio Express-News, "Building pipeline support, one chicken, lamb and goat at a time," 5 July 2018 Earlier this month, a judge denied his attorney's request to delay the case so Wilson could take the GED. Michael Gordon And Joe Marusak, charlotteobserver, "Teen pleads guilty after college baseball player was killed trying to buy a cellphone," 28 June 2018 The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed Chinese officials, said Beijing was considering holding up licenses for U.S. companies, delaying approvals of mergers and increasing border inspections of U.S. goods. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, "Will Hollywood Get Caught in Trump's China Trade War Crossfire?," 13 July 2018 In Arkansas, 53 percent of voters approved medical marijuana in 2016, but a legal challenge has delayed the program. Washington Post, "Conservative states balk at voter-approved medical marijuana," 13 July 2018 The data, delayed by a government shutdown, hinted that a volatile stock market, a government impasse, and a trade war with China had taken their toll on the American psyche. Anne D'innocenzio, The Seattle Times, "Walmart flexes in the fourth quarter, beats all expectations," 20 Feb. 2019 Lowering the price to $35,000—a key part of the Silicon Valley company’s effort to become a mainstream auto maker—is a goal Tesla has discussed for years and repeatedly delayed, but the shift in its sales strategy was a surprise. ... Tim Higgins And Adrienne Roberts, WSJ, "Tesla Shifts to Online Sales Model," 28 Feb. 2019 Historically accurate Total War: Three Kingdoms was delayed last week, pushed back from early March to May 23. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Free copies of Thimbleweed Park, major overhauls for Fallout 76 and The Bard's Tale IV," 18 Feb. 2019

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

16 Apr 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 How to pronounce delay (audio) \

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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