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

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


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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

Did you know?

As rhyming synonyms, proffer and offer are quite the pair, and we can proffer an explanation as to why: both come ultimately from Latin offerre, meaning “to present, tender, proffer, offer.” Offer had been part of the language for hundreds of years before proffer was adopted by way of an Anglo-French intermediary in the 14th century. A more formal word than its plainer relation, proffer often emphasizes courteousness on the part of the one doing the tendering.

Example Sentences

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
Recent Examples on the Web
The allegation gives South Africa the distinction of providing a degree of aid to Russia that even China has hesitated to proffer, a public rebuke that comes on the heels of a closed-door meeting between senior U.S. and South African officials in Washington last week. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, 11 May 2023 The sites have campfire rings and picnic tables, proffering a classic landing spot after a day spent hiking around mountain lakes and wildflower meadows. Carrie Dennis, Travel + Leisure, 10 Apr. 2023 There had been weeks of testimony from expert witnesses who proffered opinions and an array of diagnoses in support of Miller's insanity defense. Lane Sainty, The Arizona Republic, 6 Apr. 2023 Infantino was just being, well, himself - a soccer official, proffering his expansionist vision of and future for the game. Samindra Kunti, Forbes, 16 Mar. 2023 Rhoads died at 25 in a 1982 plane crash, shattering Osbourne and proffering a what if on par with The Day the Music Died. Brad Sanders, SPIN, 13 Mar. 2023 Two decades ago, faced with a spike in deadly youth shootings on par with today’s, a different set of leaders proffered similar solutions in a Free Press article on the issue., 22 Feb. 2023 Next door, Booger Red's Saloon proffers casual food and stiff drinks in a historic watering hole decorated with saddles and taxidermy. Tamara Gane, Chron, 5 May 2023 Excuses are proffered, but the Count brings his furious grievance to his long-suffering wife, Charlotte (Sarah Uriarte Berry), who happens to be a family friend of Anne’s. Charles Mcnulty, Los Angeles Times, 2 May 2023
Cosgrove denied the request, and Meyer asked Leiken about his statement in the proffer agreement that there was no investigation. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, 31 Aug. 2021 One message suggests that Mr. Pezzola met with prosecutors in April 2021 for a formal interview known as a proffer but did not end up cooperating with the government. Alan Feuer, New York Times, 1 Apr. 2023 Nicholas Ochs, who ran the Proud Boys’ chapter in Hawaii and was charged with conspiracy one month after the Capitol attack, also met with prosecutors for a proffer interview in the fall of 2021. Alan Feuer, New York Times, 1 Apr. 2023 Maldonado was stabbed in the chest and abdomen, according to the bond proffer. Marlene Lenthang, NBC News, 14 Mar. 2023 The passenger ran off as he was being searched by the officer, according to the proffer. Mike Nolan, Chicago Tribune, 1 Mar. 2023 Jaar provided funds that were used to acquire weapons, provided food and lodging to other co-conspirators, and provided funding to bribe Haitian officials responsible for Moise’s security, according to a proffer tied to the plea agreement. Alta Spells, CNN, 25 Mar. 2023 The events leading up to Melissa’s death were alleged last week by the state’s attorney’s office in a bond proffer document, which said Rendon was in Hernandez’s car along with Williams the evening and night of Friday, Aug. 6, and all were drinking and smoking marijuana. Bob Chiarito,, 15 Aug. 2021 Parenti noted that the defense lawyers of each cooperating witness were present during the proffer interviews and none asked for them to be recorded. oregonlive, 10 Oct. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'proffer.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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


Dictionary Entries Near proffer

Cite this Entry

“Proffer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


proffered; proffering
proffer noun

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