post·​pone (ˌ)pōs(t)-ˈpōn How to pronounce postpone (audio)
postponed; postponing

transitive verb

: to put off to a later time : defer
: to place later (as in a sentence) than the normal position in English
postpone an adjective
: to place later in order of precedence, preference, or importance
postponable adjective
postponement noun
postponer noun
Choose the Right Synonym for postpone

defer, postpone, suspend, stay mean to delay an action or proceeding.

defer implies a deliberate putting off to a later time.

deferred buying a car until spring

postpone implies an intentional deferring usually to a definite time.

the game is postponed until Saturday

suspend implies temporary stoppage with an added suggestion of waiting until some condition is satisfied.

business will be suspended while repairs are underway

stay often suggests the stopping or checking by an intervening agency or authority.

the governor stayed the execution

Examples of postpone in a Sentence

The baseball game was postponed until tomorrow because of rain. we'll have to postpone a decision until we have all the information
Recent Examples on the Web If the weather continues to dampen the festivities, the race would be postponed to Monday for only the third time in its history. Travis Caldwell, CNN, 18 Feb. 2024 In early February, Sall sought to postpone the Feb. 25 election citing unresolved disputes over who could run, and the National Assembly voted to reschedule it for Dec. 15., 17 Feb. 2024 The Texas Department of Transportation has once again postponed the full opening of several new lanes along Texas 170 after engineers raised alarm over the condition of a railroad walkway traversing the road. Jaime Moore-Carrillo, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 15 Feb. 2024 But it was postponed until April 2024 amid the writers and actors strikes last year. Hilary Lewis, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Feb. 2024 The initial court appearance to hear the charges against him has been postponed twice since December. Caitlin Yilek, CBS News, 14 Feb. 2024 Critics argue Musk has trapped Tesla in a vicious circle by training consumers to postpone their purchase in the hopes of getting a better deal in the future. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 12 Feb. 2024 On Tuesday, two days prior to the Times report, Majors was scheduled to be sentenced in connection with his assault trial, but the sentencing was postponed by a motion to set aside the verdict, filed by his lawyers. Eric Andersson, Peoplemag, 9 Feb. 2024 Majors was scheduled to be sentenced earlier this week but, because of motions filed by the actor’s legal team, the sentencing has been postponed to April 8. Nardine Saad, Los Angeles Times, 9 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'postpone.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin postponere to place after, postpone, from post- + ponere to place — more at position

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of postpone was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near postpone

Cite this Entry

“Postpone.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


post·​pone pōs(t)-ˈpōn How to pronounce postpone (audio)
postponed; postponing
: to put off (as an action or event) until a later time
rain forced us to postpone the picnic
postponement noun

Legal Definition


transitive verb
postponed; postponing
: to put off to a later time
: to place later in precedence, preference, or importance
specifically : to subordinate (a lien) to a later lien
postponable adjective
postponement noun

More from Merriam-Webster on postpone

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