prof·​fer | \ ˈprä-fər How to pronounce proffer (audio) \
proffered; proffering\ ˈprä-​f(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce proffer (audio) \

Definition of proffer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to present for acceptance : tender, offer

intransitive verb

US law
: to offer to take part in a proffer session decided that an indictment was unlikely and there was no reason to proffer



Definition of proffer (Entry 2 of 2)

2 US law : an offer made to a prosecutor by a person who is a subject of a criminal investigation to provide information in exchange for limited immunity or a plea bargaining agreement made a proffer in the hope of avoiding prosecution

Synonyms for proffer

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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You may notice a striking similarity between "proffer" and "offer." Are the two words connected by etymology? Yes, indeed. "Proffer" comes from Anglo-French profrer, which itself is an alteration of the earlier "porofrir." That word in turn combines "por-" (which means "forth" and is related to our "pro-") and "offrir" (which means "to offer" and is an ancestor of our word offer). "Proffer" entered English in the 14th century. A more literary word than plain "offer," it adds or puts stress on the idea of voluntariness, spontaneity, or courtesy on the part of the one doing the tendering.

Examples of proffer in a Sentence

Verb He proffered advice on how best to proceed. proffered his assistance in helping the two sides reach a compromise Noun a generous proffer of his baronial estate for the charity gala
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To encourage and accommodate the spirit of experimentation, Fulgurances Laundromat does not proffer menus but instead presents multicourse dinners that reveal themselves throughout the night. The New Yorker, 10 Dec. 2021 Now, staff opinion is not unanimous on the subject, but by the end of 10Best testing, the true believers stood up to proffer that the CT4-V Blackwing is the better sports sedan of the two. Tony Quiroga, Car and Driver, 17 Nov. 2021 An exurb could be a tremendous money-maker for a savvy fleet operator and proffer a loyal base of riders. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2021 Turkish War, Bismarck, whose armies had conquered Denmark, Austria, and France in less than a decade, would not even proffer a suggestion unless it had been blessed by Queen Victoria’s first minister, Benjamin Disraeli. Robert Wilkie, National Review, 19 July 2021 These strategies can deliver political power to those who proffer them but are unlikely to heal any wounds. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 19 Aug. 2021 Powell and the other attorneys continue to proffer misleading and false information to bolster the assertion that someone tampered with election results. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, 12 July 2021 Perhaps not surprisingly, the competition for sales of orthopedic devices is fierce: Some 250 companies proffer a dizzying array of products. Elizabeth Lucas, Fortune, 17 June 2021 The survivors carry on, as vaccinations proffer the opportunity to secure herd immunity and defeat the spread of the virus. Greg Story, Forbes, 24 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Chinese crypto entrepreneur Justin Sun revealed himself Wednesday as the mysterious bidder who secured a seat on Blue Origin’s first crewed spaceflight with a $28 million proffer — only to skip it — and announced plans to take five people with him. Washington Post, 22 Dec. 2021 The deal would have required Budish to give a proffer statement, an agreement in which a person is allowed to speak freely to investigators in exchange for them not using the statements to charge them with a crime. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, 20 Dec. 2021 From their respective graves in Mecosta County and Beaconsfield, the two proffer advice to authors: write up, not down, or even sideways. Wsj Books Staff, WSJ, 8 Dec. 2021 Cory Shaffer reports Earl Leiken signed a two-page proffer agreement in which prosecutors agreed not to use his statements in any criminal case against him, according to courtroom testimony in the trial of former jail director Ken Mills. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, 1 Sep. 2021 Williams allegedly recorded several videos posted to SnapChat detailing the night before Rendon’s death, according to a bond proffer read out in court Tuesday by an assistant Cook County state’s attorney. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, 16 Aug. 2021 Williams and Rendon took pills, believed to be Xanax, that came from a bottle that also contained prescription blood pressure medicine, according to the proffer, which was read by an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney in bond court Tuesday. Bob Chiarito,, 15 Aug. 2021 During a series of meetings between Slater and the associate, the two hashed out plans to murder members of Slater's ex-girlfriend's family, according to the factual proffer filing. Kendall Lanier And Amanda Watts, CNN, 14 July 2021 Clark signed a proffer agreement with federal authorities during the July 2020 meeting, according to the book. John Caniglia, cleveland, 1 July 2021

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for proffer


Middle English profren, from Anglo-French profrer, proffrir, porofrir, from por- forth (from Latin pro-) + offrir to offer — more at pro-

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Time Traveler for proffer

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The first known use of proffer was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near proffer

professor ordinarius



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Last Updated

20 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Proffer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for proffer



English Language Learners Definition of proffer

: to offer or give (something) to someone


prof·​fer | \ ˈprä-fər How to pronounce proffer (audio) \
proffered; proffering

Kids Definition of proffer

More from Merriam-Webster on proffer

Nglish: Translation of proffer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of proffer for Arabic Speakers


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