post·​pone | \ (ˌ)pōs(t)-ˈpōn How to pronounce postpone (audio) \
postponed; postponing

Definition of postpone

transitive verb

1 : to put off to a later time : defer
2a : to place later (as in a sentence) than the normal position in English postpone an adjective
b : to place later in order of precedence, preference, or importance

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from postpone

postponable \ (ˌ)pōs(t)-​ˈpō-​nə-​bəl How to pronounce postpone (audio) \ adjective
postponement \ (ˌ)pōs(t)-​ˈpōn-​mənt How to pronounce postpone (audio) \ noun
postponer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for postpone

defer, postpone, suspend, stay mean to delay an action or proceeding. defer implies a deliberate putting off to a later time. deferred buying a car until spring postpone implies an intentional deferring usually to a definite time. the game is postponed until Saturday suspend implies temporary stoppage with an added suggestion of waiting until some condition is satisfied. business will be suspended while repairs are underway stay often suggests the stopping or checking by an intervening agency or authority. the governor stayed the execution

Examples of postpone in a Sentence

The baseball game was postponed until tomorrow because of rain. we'll have to postpone a decision until we have all the information
Recent Examples on the Web By August 1st, the national seven-day average of coronavirus cases grew to almost eighty thousand, and companies began to postpone fall openings. Cal Newport, The New Yorker, 11 Oct. 2021 While the health situation isn’t changing as rapidly as in early 2020, restrictions can change quickly and force businesses to postpone in-person meetings and switch to virtual sessions instead. Geoff Whitmore, Forbes, 10 Oct. 2021 Still others, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, have chosen to postpone glitzy galas and focus on making sure regular programming can go on. Washington Post, 9 Oct. 2021 Travelers should plan for long delays and may want to postpone their travel to other times to avoid the slowdowns. oregonlive, 6 Oct. 2021 That may delay a decision on hearing the case until early next year, which could postpone a ruling until the next term. Los Angeles Times, 4 Oct. 2021 State troopers failed a week ago in a similar bid to postpone the vaccine requirement in state Superior Court., 29 Sep. 2021 Texas A&M University-San Antonio was the only area public institution of higher learning that didn’t postpone the fall start of in-person classes. Danya Perez, San Antonio Express-News, 27 Sep. 2021 However, a judge ruled to postpone the ban, and the sale has been put off as the Biden administration overturns Trump's ban and reevaluates the national security risk TikTok potentially might pose. Michelle Shen, USA TODAY, 27 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'postpone.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of postpone

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for postpone

Latin postponere to place after, postpone, from post- + ponere to place — more at position

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About postpone

Time Traveler for postpone

Time Traveler

The first known use of postpone was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near postpone

post-polio syndrome



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for postpone

Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Postpone.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for postpone



English Language Learners Definition of postpone

: to decide that something which had been planned for a particular time will be done at a later time instead


post·​pone | \ pōst-ˈpōn How to pronounce postpone (audio) \
postponed; postponing

Kids Definition of postpone

: to put off until a later time

Other Words from postpone

postponement \ -​mənt \ noun


transitive verb
postponed; postponing

Legal Definition of postpone

1 : to put off to a later time
2 : to place later in precedence, preference, or importance specifically : to subordinate (a lien) to a later lien

Other Words from postpone

postponable adjective
postponement noun

More from Merriam-Webster on postpone

Nglish: Translation of postpone for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of postpone for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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