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

But maybe the delay affected Armstrong, who began the year on the injured list due to a left oblique strain. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Mariners keep home run streak alive but two Houston grand slams too much to overcome," 13 Apr. 2019 The delays came after hundreds of U.S. Customs and Border... Robbie Whelan, WSJ, "U.S. Shift on Mexican Border Triggers Trade Bottleneck," 3 Apr. 2019 While the royals were meant to have moved in already, the delay will apparently take them even closer to Meghan's due date, which is believed to be at the end of April 2019. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Move to Frogmore Cottage Has Reportedly Been Delayed," 25 Mar. 2019 The delay could put Facebook at risk of GDPR fines for not promptly disclosing the issue within 72 hours that can go up to 20 million pounds or 4 percent of annual global revenue. Casey Newton, The Verge, "22 predictions for social media in 2019," 15 Dec. 2018 The 13-minute delay in communications between Earth and Mars means that the movements and experiments conducted by past and current Martian rovers have had to be meticulously planned. Alyson Behr, Ars Technica, "NASA’s next Mars rover will use AI to be a better science partner," 6 Dec. 2018 The delay leaves Nevada reassessing its options and stokes a debate about how the 31 states that have capital punishment can put anyone to death in an era when pharmaceutical companies ban their products for that use. Ken Ritter And Michelle L. Price, Time, "Nevada Delays Its First Execution in 12 Years After a Drug Company Objects," 12 July 2018 Expand the number of buildings covered by the demolition delays. Mary Schmich, chicagotribune.com, "Awful! Sad! No More! Stop demolishing Chicago's beautiful old homes," 12 July 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The launch could also be delayed until Thursday or Friday. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "SpaceX Lands All Three Falcon Heavy Boosters for the First Time," 10 Apr. 2019 In fact, Harry and Meghan's move was delayed by about a month due to ongoing renovations at their new home. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Officially Move to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor," 4 Apr. 2019 Their radio transitions to the lander are delayed by several minutes. Brian Resnick, Vox, "NASA is landing on Mars for the first time since 2012. You can watch!," 23 Nov. 2018 Meanwhile, Sharif's arrival in the eastern city of Lahore was delayed until 8 p.m. He will be accompanied by his daughter Mariam, who was sentenced to seven years in prison. Zaheer Babar And Abdul Sattar, chicagotribune.com, "74 dead in election violence in Pakistan," 13 July 2018 The trip was delayed multiple times and downgraded to a working visit as Trump continued to offend the British over the past 18 months. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Everything You Need to Know About Trump’s Controversial U.K. Visit," 12 July 2018 Lockett’s original flight out of El Paso, Texas, was delayed. Jeff Sanders, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Padres notes: Walker Lockett's travel day, another Wil Myers homer," 10 July 2018 United Airlines said in a statement to the Washington Post that 150 of its flights were impacted, while 100 flights were either cancelled or delayed across the Washington D.C. and Baltimore metro areas. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Hundreds of Flights Across The Country Were Delayed by a Computer Glitch," 1 Apr. 2019 Serious but rare side effects include delayed onset infections, recurrence of herpetic eruptions, and superficial necrosis at the injection site. Vogue, "Celebrity Manicurist Deborah Lippmann on Beauty, Aging, and the Product That Changed her Relationship With her Hands," 1 Apr. 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

30 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

Comments on delay

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