Defer – What does it mean?

The word defer in English has two different meanings.

1. Defer – means to postpone something.To put off, or delay an action or activity or plan or work.


The winter offensive was deferred by the Army Chief, fearing that heavy snowfall will delay the progress of his army into the enemy territory.

The government agreed to defer new taxes until next year, keeping in mind the economic situation in the country.

To defer is to postpone, and to postpone is to delay and to delay in today’s world is to be dead.

The noun form is deferment – the act of delaying or postponing; specifically :  official postponement of military service.

For Example:

– the policies of military deferment

The Air Force Chief was not satisfied with the deferment of the plan to purchase new fighter aircraft.

2. Defer

(a) – to delegate to another. He deferred his job to his colleagues.

(b) – to submit to another’s wishes, opinion, or governance usually out of respect .

to yield respectfully in judgement or opinion.

For example:

The son deferred to his father in business matters.

He always deferred to his Guru in matters of importance.

The noun form is deference. It refers to a way of behaving that shows respect for someone or something.

In deference to his wife’s wishes, he decided to postpone the company’s merger meeting.

(c) – to submit for decision, refer:

We defer questions which have legal implications to our lawyer.Many forms of Defer