Definition of dilatory
- dilatory tactics
- dilatory in paying bills
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
the homeowner is claiming that local firefighters were dilatory in responding to the call
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.
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."
barreling, bolting, breakneck, breathless, brisk, careering, dizzy, fast, fleet, flying, hasty, hurrying, lightning, meteoric, quick, racing, rapid, rocketing, running, rushing, speeding, speedy, swift, warp-speed, whirling, whirlwind, whisking, zipping;
: causing a delay
: tending to be late : slow to do something
What made you want to look up dilatory? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).