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

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: it comes from the Latin prefix pro-, meaning "forward," and crastinus, "of tomorrow." The word means moving or acting slowly so as to fall behind, and it 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 And, per a separate in-app survey from the same year, about 35% of Tinder users admitted to using the app as a way to procrastinate at work. Chloe Berger, Fortune, 12 Aug. 2022 In addition, the researchers discovered that especially those people who procrastinate before going to bed also tend to put things off in other ways. Janosch Deeg, Scientific American, 19 July 2022 Please don’t procrastinate, because this is serious. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, 17 Aug. 2022 Another survey found that 88% of people procrastinate at least one hour a day. Fortune, 3 Aug. 2022 In addition, lack of sleep worsens self-regulation, which can further increase the tendency to procrastinate—a vicious cycle. Janosch Deeg, Scientific American, 19 July 2022 Some may also procrastinate on completing services, which has the same effect. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 13 June 2022 Share specific feedback, and don’t procrastinate on closing the loop. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 3 June 2022 Please, pretty please, don’t procrastinate again until October 17th to begin filing. David Rae, Forbes, 9 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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The first known use of procrastinate was in 1588

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Last Updated

6 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Procrastinate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for procrastinate


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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