9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[kuh n-fur] /kənˈfɜr/
verb (used without object), conferred, conferring.
to consult together; compare opinions; carry on a discussion or deliberation.
verb (used with object), conferred, conferring.
to bestow upon as a gift, favor, honor, etc.:
to confer a degree on a graduate.
Obsolete. to compare.
Origin of confer
late Middle English
1400-50 for earlier sense “to summon”; 1520-30 for current senses; late Middle English conferen < Latin conferre to bring together, compare, consult with, equivalent to con- con- + ferre to carry, bear1
Related forms
conferment, noun
conferrable, adjective
conferrer, noun
nonconferrable, adjective
preconfer, verb (used without object), preconferred, preconferring.
reconfer, verb, reconferred, reconferring.
unconferred, adjective
well-conferred, adjective
1. See consult. 2. See give. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for confers
  • The four types of dengue virus, none of which confers immunity to the rest, spread faster in densely populated areas.
  • The clout it confers in standard-setting is of secondary importance.
  • In the healthy, a vaccinia infection is largely harmless and merely confers immunity to smallpox.
  • Control of the ancestral shrine confers enormous power.
  • The almost instantaneous opportunity to interact with family and business partners in distant countries confers mutual support.
  • City dwellers buy bush meat as a reminder of their heritage and because it confers social status.
  • He confers with clients, debates routes, reviews go-no-go options.
  • The condition confers a unique gift not only on people who experience its wonders firsthand but also on researchers.
  • Certainly, for fish that spend their lives along the sea bottom, having both eyes topside confers a survival advantage.
  • Perhaps there is a sense that carrying coffee or having it nearby confers the idea of productivity also.
British Dictionary definitions for confers


verb -fers, -ferring, -ferred
(transitive; foll by on or upon) to grant or bestow (an honour, gift, etc)
(intransitive) to hold or take part in a conference or consult together
(transitive) an obsolete word for compare
Derived Forms
conferment, conferral, noun
conferrable, adjective
conferrer, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin conferre to gather together, compare, from com- together + ferre to bring
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for confers



1530s, from Middle French conférer (14c.) "to give, converse, compare," from Latin conferre "to bring together," figuratively "to compare; consult, deliberate, talk over," from com- "together" (see com-) + ferre "to bear" (see infer). Sense of "taking counsel" led to conference. The meaning "compare" (common 1530-1650) is largely obsolete, but the abbreviation cf. still is used in this sense. Related: Conferred; conferring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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