Definition of delay verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    delay

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//dɪˈleɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈleɪ//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they delay
    BrE BrE//dɪˈleɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈleɪ//
     
    he / she / it delays
    BrE BrE//dɪˈleɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈleɪz//
     
    past simple delayed
    BrE BrE//dɪˈleɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈleɪd//
     
    past participle delayed
    BrE BrE//dɪˈleɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈleɪd//
     
    -ing form delaying
    BrE BrE//dɪˈleɪɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈleɪɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 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 offender. 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. More Like This Verbs usually followed by -ing forms avoid, consider, delay, deny, enjoy, escape, finish, give up, imagine, involve, mention, mind, miss, postpone, practise, resist, risk, suggestSee worksheet.
  2. 2  [transitive] delay somebody to make somebody 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?
  3. Word Origin Middle English: from Old French delayer (verb).Extra examples Mellanby’s arrival was seriously delayed by a late train. These drugs can significantly delay the onset of the disease. Don’t delay—call us today! She’s suffering a delayed reaction The conservative coalition could delay further reforms or block them altogether. We can’t delay much longer. The government is accused of using delaying tactics. The train had been unavoidably delayed after a small avalanche blocked the line. These arguments will inevitably delay the start of construction.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: delay

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