Synonyms & Antonyms of confer

1 to give the ownership or benefit of (something) formally or publicly
  • the British monarch continues to confer knighthood on those who are outstanding in their fields of endeavor

Synonyms for confer

Words Related to confer

Near Antonyms for confer

2 to exchange viewpoints or seek advice for the purpose of finding a solution to a problem
  • my parents are going to confer with a financial adviser about saving for their retirement

Synonyms for confer

Words Related to confer

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About confer

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

Learn More About confer

Time Traveler for confer

Time Traveler

The first known use of confer was circa 1500

See more words from the same year

Thesaurus Entries Near confer




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Confer.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on confer

Nglish: Translation of confer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of confer for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!