Synonym Chooser

How does the verb confer contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of confer are afford, bestow, donate, give, and present. While all these words mean "to convey to another as a possession," confer implies a gracious giving (as of a favor or honor).

confer an honorary degree

In what contexts can afford take the place of confer?

While the synonyms afford and confer are close in meaning, afford implies a giving or bestowing usually as a natural or legitimate consequence of the character of the giver.

the trees afford shade
a development that affords us some hope

When can bestow be used instead of confer?

The meanings of bestow and confer largely overlap; however, bestow implies the conveying of something as a gift and may suggest condescension on the part of the giver.

bestow unwanted advice

When might donate be a better fit than confer?

In some situations, the words donate and confer are roughly equivalent. However, donate is likely to imply a publicized giving (as to charity).

donate a piano to the orphanage

When could give be used to replace confer?

The words give and confer can be used in similar contexts, but give, the general term, is applicable to any passing over of anything by any means.

give alms
gave her a ride on a pony
give my love to your mother

When is it sensible to use present instead of confer?

While in some cases nearly identical to confer, present carries a note of formality and ceremony.

present an award

Thesaurus Entries Near confer

Cite this Entry

“Confer.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on confer

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