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

The diner officially opened on June 11, after facing months of delays. Jess Nocera, Laurel Leader, "Order’s up at three new restaurants in Laurel," 5 July 2018 Cost and development delays are two likely culprits. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Russia to Receive First New 'Armata' Tanks in 2019," 13 Feb. 2019 So with some air-traffic controllers staying home, delays and cancellations may be less frequent when skies are already thinned out. Scott Mccartney, WSJ, "What Fliers Should Keep in Mind as the Shutdown Pauses," 25 Jan. 2019 Product delays aren’t uncommon in the tech world, but Clear History was announced to show users how serious Facebook was taking their privacy. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Facebook still hasn’t launched a big privacy feature that Mark Zuckerberg promised more than seven months ago," 17 Dec. 2018 But the delays and cancellations weren't just limited to the snowed-in spots. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Winter Storm Bruce Leads to Flight Delays, Cancellations," 26 Nov. 2018 The delays could have been because Flynn is still in the process of cooperating with investigators in the special counsel investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. Alex Pappas, Fox News, "Flynn 'eager' to proceed to sentencing after mysterious delays," 10 July 2018 For New Yorkers who rely on the subway, the constant delays are maddening. New York Times, "Nearly 6 Months on the Job, the Subway Chief Finally Meets the Mayor," 10 July 2018 In an industry where product delays are the norm, Embraer has introduced 10 all-new aircraft over the past 15 years, largely on-budget and on-time, Ron Epstein, an analyst at Bank of America Corp., wrote earlier this year. Fabiola Moura, latimes.com, "Boeing takes control of Embraer's commercial jet business in $4.75-billion deal," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 King Maha's coronation had been delayed to allow for a period of mourning for King Bhumibol. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Thailand's New Monarch, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, Will Be Crowned Later This Year," 2 Jan. 2019 In the six hours of disruption so far, 246 departures have been delayed and 202 arrivals cancelled, affecting upwards of 10,000 passengers. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Gatwick Airport Shut Down Due to 'Deliberate' Drone Interference," 20 Dec. 2018 But a shoulder injury delayed new episodes to Monday, January 14. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "'The Wendy Williams Show' Replaced Wendy With Nick Cannon While She Recovers," 30 Jan. 2019 Also early in the year, Carson and HUD delayed the AFFH rule. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "HUD won one court battle, lost another under Ben Carson in 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 Thunderstorms and high winds have delayed this launch yet again, and those thunderstorms might not disappear until the weekend. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "SpaceX Rocket Launch Delayed for the Third Time This Week," 20 Dec. 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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Learn More about delay

Statistics for delay

Last Updated

19 Mar 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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