procrastinate

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

Essential Meaning 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. He procrastinated and missed the submission deadline. He told her to stop procrastinating and get to work.

Full 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." 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 Despite all those extra workers, the shippers agree that this is not the year for shoppers to procrastinate. David Sharp, ajc, 27 Nov. 2021 Don’t procrastinate by dwelling excessively on statistics. cleveland, 2 Oct. 2021 People said Facebook was a fad, a tool for people to procrastinate. Martine Paris, Fortune, 13 Sep. 2021 Naturally, history’s annoyingly over-productive types—the Benjamin Franklins of the world—have always disdained the tendency to procrastinate. Oliver Burkeman, Time, 31 Aug. 2021 In the end, though, learning to procrastinate better is less a matter of tips or techniques than a shift of perspective. Oliver Burkeman, Time, 31 Aug. 2021 Don’t procrastinate and don’t talk yourself out of it. Essence, 17 Aug. 2021 There are only a couple of hours left to save money on a new robot house cleaner, so don’t procrastinate. Vanessa Spilios, Forbes, 23 June 2021 Another reason people procrastinate, Sirois said, is because of low self-esteem. Washington Post, 9 July 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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Dictionary Entries Near procrastinate

Procopius

procrastinate

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Last Updated

29 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Procrastinate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/procrastinate. Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for procrastinate

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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