- 1 [intransitive, transitive] to not do something until a later time or to make something happen at a later time synonym defer Don't delay—call us today! We can't delay much longer. delay something The judge will delay his verdict until he receives medical reports on the suspect. She's suffering a delayed reaction (= a reaction that did not happen immediately) to the shock. delay doing something He delayed telling her the news, waiting for the right moment.
- 2[transitive] delay somebody to make someone late or force them to do something more slowly synonym hold up Thousands of commuters were delayed for over an hour. The government is accused of using delaying tactics (= deliberately doing something to delay a process, decision, etc.). What could have delayed him?
NAmE//dɪˈleɪ//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they delay
he / she / it delays
past simple delayed
-ing form delaying