proffer

verb
prof·​fer | \ˈprä-fər \
proffered; proffering\ˈprä-​f(ə-​)riŋ \

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

proffer

noun

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

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Synonyms for proffer

Synonyms: Verb

extend, give, offer, tender, trot out

Synonyms: Noun

offer, proposal, proposition, suggestion

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Did You Know?

Verb

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

Powell would proffer a wholly new outlook by claiming that Americans needed to listen not only to their hearts, pocketbooks and deep aspirations, but to what the land itself and the climate would tell them. John F. Ross, Smithsonian, "The Visionary John Wesley Powell Had a Plan for Developing the West, But Nobody Listened," 3 July 2018 Markara Man had several charges proffered against him related to Pai’s status as a federal official. Glenn Fleishman, Fortune, "FBI Arrests Man Who Threatened to Kill FCC Chair Ajit Pai's Children," 29 June 2018 Screening supervisors at airports have the discretion to decide whether, and when, to demand that passengers proffer up their pretzel packs for a solo trip through the X-ray machine. Martine Powers, Washington Post, "It started with your shoes, then your water. Now the TSA wants your snacks.," 29 June 2018 Connor, 25 The gimmick: Stealing the lead away during cocktail hour, proffering a bottle of champagne and then drinking directly from it before offering Becca a flute-free swig. Jay Willis, GQ, "Bachelorette Recap: What Your Opening-Night Gimmick Says About Your Chances at Finding Love," 29 May 2018 Since being elected South Korea’s president last May, Moon has repeatedly proffered olive branches to Kim. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "North Korean leader holds first direct talks with delegation from rival South," 5 Mar. 2018 Alongside a Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale, which Piper won in 2015, this is among the very highest honors the art world can proffer. Thomas Chatterton Williams, New York Times, "Adrian Piper’s Show at MoMA is the Largest Ever for a Living Artist. Why Hasn’t She Seen It?," 27 June 2018 Priest to the left, king to the right, and, between them, only half embodied within the flames of a ritual fire, a clone of the priest proffers a dish of magical, son-producing food. Lee Lawrence, WSJ, "‘Epic Tales From Ancient India’ Review: Stories Told in All Their Splendor," 26 June 2018 Eighteen years ago, at the end of an official visit to North Korea, then-Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright brought an unexpected gift, proffering a basketball signed by Michael Jordan for Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un’s father. Siobhán O'grady, Washington Post, "Dennis Rodman might go to Singapore. Here’s the story of his friendship with Kim Jong Un.," 6 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Lying during his proffer: Downing also pressed Gates on the specifics of his plea deal with Mueller’s team. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Manafort’s defense team goes all out to try to discredit Rick Gates’s testimony," 7 Aug. 2018 And that conversation will typically happen through something called a proffer agreement. Jen Kirby, Vox, "How to flip a witness, as explained by a former federal prosecutor," 3 Aug. 2018 In its second act, American Conservatory Theater’s production both makes a riot of a slow-motion fight scene and proffers ageless wisdom won from the ravages of war. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Theater capsule reviews and listings, week of April 22," 19 Apr. 2018 No matter what happens, this thought experiment proffers, someone is going to die. Betsy Morais, Longreads, "The Menace and the Promise of Autonomous Vehicles," 13 June 2018 In its second act, American Conservatory Theater’s production both makes a riot of a slow-motion fight scene and proffers ageless wisdom won from the ravages of war. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Theater capsule reviews and listings, week of April 22," 19 Apr. 2018 In its second act, American Conservatory Theater’s production both makes a riot of a slow-motion fight scene and proffers ageless wisdom won from the ravages of war. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Theater capsule reviews and listings, week of April 22," 19 Apr. 2018 In its second act, American Conservatory Theater’s production both makes a riot of a slow-motion fight scene and proffers ageless wisdom won from the ravages of war. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Theater capsule reviews and listings, week of April 22," 19 Apr. 2018 In its second act, American Conservatory Theater’s production both makes a riot of a slow-motion fight scene and proffers ageless wisdom won from the ravages of war. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Theater capsule reviews and listings, week of April 22," 19 Apr. 2018

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

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for proffer

Verb

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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Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for proffer

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

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More Definitions for proffer

proffer

verb

English Language Learners Definition of proffer

: to offer or give (something) to someone

proffer

verb
prof·​fer | \ˈprä-fər \
proffered; proffering

Kids Definition of proffer

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More from Merriam-Webster on proffer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with proffer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for proffer

Spanish Central: Translation of proffer

Nglish: Translation of proffer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of proffer for Arabic Speakers

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