procrastinate

verb
pro·​cras·​ti·​nate | \ prə-ˈkra-stə-ˌnāt How to pronounce procrastinate (audio) , prō- \
procrastinated; procrastinating

Definition of procrastinate

transitive verb

: to put off intentionally and habitually

intransitive verb

: to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done

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Other Words from procrastinate

procrastination \ prə-​ˌkra-​stə-​ˈnā-​shən How to pronounce procrastinate (audio) , prō-​ \ noun
procrastinator \ prə-​ˈkra-​stə-​ˌnā-​tər How to pronounce procrastinate (audio) , prō-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for procrastinate

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

Did you know?

We won't put off telling you about out the origins of "procrastinate." English speakers borrowed the word in the 16th century from Latin procrastinatus, which itself evolved from the prefix pro-, meaning "forward," and crastinus, meaning "of tomorrow." Like its synonyms "delay," "lag," "loiter," "dawdle," and "dally," "procrastinate" means to move or act slowly so as to fall behind. It typically implies blameworthy delay especially through laziness or apathy.

Examples of procrastinate in a Sentence

He procrastinated and missed the submission deadline. He told her to stop procrastinating and get to work.
Recent Examples on the Web Everyone has several days to buy supplies and get out the shutters (or procrastinate about it), while television meteorologists seize their annual moments of glory. David Fleshler, sun-sentinel.com, 1 June 2021 LearnedLeague seems like a healthy way to procrastinate. Eliza Brooke, The New Yorker, 17 May 2021 However, the lack of a routine can also lead one to procrastinate, or get off-track and inadvertently let something slip through the cracks. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 28 Apr. 2021 Should people procrastinate a bit here, simply on the hope that, maybe the federal government will listen to reason and extend the April 15 deadline a month or two? Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, 17 Mar. 2021 The management has also decided to procrastinate share repurchases and instead focus on promoting its streaming offering. Trefis Team, Forbes, 9 Mar. 2021 Then remind them that the immediate instinct to procrastinate and play video games will make life miserable later. Brian Platzer, The Atlantic, 2 Mar. 2021 There are several reasons why taxes aren’t something to procrastinate about until the last minute. Erik Carter, Forbes, 1 Mar. 2021 But a delay is far from certain—so don’t procrastinate. Laura Saunders, WSJ, 19 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'procrastinate.' 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 procrastinate

1588, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for procrastinate

Latin procrastinatus, past participle of procrastinare, from pro- forward + crastinus of tomorrow, from cras tomorrow

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Time Traveler for procrastinate

Time Traveler

The first known use of procrastinate was in 1588

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Last Updated

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Procrastinate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/procrastinate. Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for procrastinate

procrastinate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of procrastinate

: to be slow or late about doing something that should be done : to delay doing something until a later time because you do not want to do it, because you are lazy, etc.

procrastinate

verb
pro·​cras·​ti·​nate | \ prə-ˈkra-stə-ˌnāt How to pronounce procrastinate (audio) \
procrastinated; procrastinating

Kids Definition of procrastinate

: to keep putting off something that should be done

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