delay usually implies a putting off of something (such as a beginning or departure).
we cannot delay any longer
procrastinate implies blameworthy delay especially through laziness or apathy.
procrastinates about making decisions
lag implies failure to maintain a speed set by others.
lagging behind in technology
loiter and dawdle imply delay while in progress, especially in walking, but dawdle more clearly suggests an aimless wasting of time.
loitered at several store windows
children dawdling on their way home from school
dally suggests delay through trifling or vacillation when promptness is necessary.
stop dallying and get to work
Examples of delay in a Sentence
Do you know what's causing the delay?
a number of flight delays
After months of delay, construction on the new school began.
Airline travelers are experiencing delays of up to three hours. Verb
The doctor wants to delay surgery for a few weeks.
She's planning to delay her retirement.
He delayed too long, and now it's too late.
“Don't delay! Sale ends Saturday.”
Production problems delayed the introduction of the new model by several months. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Here are seven home improvement ideas to spruce up your space while dealing with renovation delays.—Cori Sears, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 Sep. 2023 Another premium credit card, The Platinum Card from American Express, includes trip cancellation, interruption, and trip delay insurance.—Katie Seemann, Travel + Leisure, 25 Sep. 2023 An audit released in July found that delays in city hiring were largely the result of individual departments — not the Personnel Department or the volunteer commissioners who oversee it.—Jeff McDonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Sep. 2023 Up to $100 per day for up to three days in baggage delay insurance to cover essential items in the event that your baggage is delayed by more than 12 hours.—Ben Luthi, wsj.com, 23 Sep. 2023 The ongoing strikes have shut down most television and film production for months, resulting in thousands of people out of work and the delay of many films and TV shows that were both in the middle of and/or slated to begin filming.—Alli Rosenbloom, CNN, 23 Sep. 2023 And, with days until the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, retires, the Senate overcame GOP Senator Tommy Tuberville’s months-long delay on military promotions and confirmed General Charles Q. Brown Jr. to fill the U.S. military’s top job.—The Editors, The Atlantic, 23 Sep. 2023 Dorothy instilled a lifetime love of the pinstripes in her family — and during a rain delay in October 2022, Jalen excitedly visited his uncle’s display in the Yankee Museum.—Emily Krauser, Peoplemag, 23 Sep. 2023 Also, Limp proved his first point with an uncomfortable silence about the length of an Alexa delay, which was pretty great.—Wes Davis, The Verge, 21 Sep. 2023
The supply issues mean doctors must substitute the drugs with less effective alternatives or delay treatment until the drugs become available again.—Berkeley Lovelace Jr., NBC News, 25 Sep. 2023 Jennifer Hudson also delayed the premiere of her show.—Dory Jackson, Peoplemag, 25 Sep. 2023 In the meantime, a prolonged work stoppage among the actors could delay the return to work for writers.—Max Zahn, ABC News, 25 Sep. 2023 In his newsletter Sunday, Gosar baselessly claimed that Milley and then–House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had worked to delay the National Guard’s response to the January 6 riot, to make Trump look bad.—Tori Otten, The New Republic, 25 Sep. 2023 The company’s large New Glenn rocket, which is to be used to launch satellites and eventually people to orbit, has long been delayed.—Christian Davenport, Washington Post, 25 Sep. 2023 And a try at Aussie rules wasn’t the only thing that delayed him.—Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 24 Sep. 2023 Under that scenario, a default could have affected Social Security recipients by delaying their checks.—Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 22 Sep. 2023 Google offered to subsidize housing in that city’s expensive Grand Canal area for nurses, teachers, and other frontline staff who had been priced out by tech workers’ salaries, though this was delayed last year.—Byryan Hogg, Fortune, 21 Sep. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'delay.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Verb and Noun
Middle English, from Anglo-French delaier, from de- + laier to leave, from lai-, present and future stem of lesser, laisser to leave, from Latin laxare to slacken, from laxus loose — more at slack