I. transitive verb
Etymology: Middle English deferren, differren, from Middle French differer, from Latin differre to postpone, be different — more at differ
Date: 14th century
1. put off, delay
2. to postpone induction of (a person) into military service
• deferrer noun
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 under way>. stay often suggests the stopping or checking by an intervening agency or authority <the governor stayed the execution>. II. verb (deferred; deferring) Etymology: Middle English deferren, differren, from Middle French deferer, defferer, from Late Latin deferre, from Latin, to bring down, bring, from de- + ferre to carry — more at bear Date: 15th century transitive verb to delegate to another <he could defer his job to no one — J. A. Michener> intransitive verb to submit to another's wishes, opinion, or governance usually through deference or respect <deferred to her father's wishes> Synonyms: see yield
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.