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

Example Sentences

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 In October, the band had to postpone several shows in Brazil because Martin suffered a serious lung infection and was ordered by doctor's to rest. ELLE, 12 Nov. 2022 Phillies manager Rob Thomson was fine with the decision by Major League Baseball to postpone the game. Dan Gelston, Chicago Tribune, 1 Nov. 2022 Phillies manager Rob Thomson was fine with the decision by Major League Baseball to postpone the game. Dan Gelston, ajc, 1 Nov. 2022 Griggsby’s decision to postpone the case a second time. Lee O. Sanderlin, Baltimore Sun, 25 Oct. 2022 Chris Stapleton himself needed to postpone shows earlier this summer after a COVID-19 diagnosis. Thom Duffy, Billboard, 25 Sep. 2022 In June, however, the band was forced to postpone shows when Jagger tested positive for COVID-19. Daniela Avila, Peoplemag, 22 Aug. 2022 The residency, titled Gwen Stefani – Just A Girl, was initially set to end in spring 2020, but the pandemic forced her to postpone her final eight shows. Ally Mauch,, 8 Nov. 2021 The former One Direction member, who released his sophomore studio set, Faith in the Future, on Friday (Nov. 11), has been forced to postpone some promotional appearances after breaking his arm after a concert at New York City’s Irving Plaza. Ashley Iasimone, Billboard, 12 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'postpone.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 4 Dec. 2022.

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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