dilatory was our Word of the Day on 04/30/2009. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of dilatory in a Sentence
the homeowner is claiming that local firefighters were dilatory in responding to the call
Recent Examples of dilatory from the Web
Ruders, a prolific composer with a dazzling musical mind, sometimes writes works whose expressive ends can seem dilatory and obscure.
That was a corollary to the dilatory pursuit of war crimes prosecutions by a West German justice system that was riddled with lawyers and judges who were former Nazis.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dilatory'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
When Should You Use dilatory?
Slow down. Set a leisurely pace. What's the hurry? If procrastination is your style, "dilatory" is the word for you. That term has been used in English to describe things that cause delay since at least the 15th century, and its ancestors were hanging around with similar meanings long before that. If you take the time to trace the roots of dilatory, you will discover that it derives from "dilatus," the past participle of the Latin verb differre, which meant either "to postpone" or "to differ." If you think "differre" looks like several English words, you have a discerning eye. That verb is also an ancestor of the words "different" and "defer."
DILATORY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of dilatory for English Language Learners
: causing a delay
: tending to be late : slow to do something
Seen and Heard
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