1 [dih-fur]
verb (used with object), deferred, deferring.
to put off (action, consideration, etc.) to a future time: The decision has been deferred by the board until next week.
to exempt temporarily from induction into military service.
verb (used without object), deferred, deferring.
to put off action; delay.

1325–75; Middle English deferren, variant of differren to differ

deferrer, noun

1. Defer, delay, postpone imply keeping something from occurring until a future time. To defer is to decide to do something later on: to defer making a payment. To delay is sometimes equivalent to defer but usually it is to act in a dilatory manner and thus lay something aside: to delay one's departure. To postpone a thing is to put it off to (usually) some particular time in the future, with the intention of beginning or resuming it then: to postpone an election. 3. procrastinate. Unabridged


2 [dih-fur]
verb (used without object), deferred, deferring.
to yield respectfully in judgment or opinion (usually followed by to ): We all defer to him in these matters.
verb (used with object), deferred, deferring.
to submit for decision; refer: We defer questions of this kind to the president.

1400–50; late Middle English deferren < Latin dēferre to carry from or down, report, accuse, equivalent to dē- de- + ferre to bear1

1. accede, submit, acquiesce, capitulate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
defer1 (dɪˈfɜː)
vb , -fers, -ferring, -ferred
(tr) to delay or cause to be delayed until a future time; postpone
[C14: from Old French differer to be different, postpone; see differ]

defer2 (dɪˈfɜː)
vb (foll by to) , -fers, -ferring, -ferred
to yield (to) or comply (with) the wishes or judgments of another: I defer to your superior knowledge
[C15: from Latin dēferre, literally: to bear down, from de- + ferre to bear]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"delay," late 14c., from O.Fr. differer, from L. differre "set apart, put off, delay," also "be different, differ," from dis- "apart" + ferre "carry" (see infer). Etymologically identical with differ; the spelling and pronunciation differentiated from 15c., partly by association
of this word with delay.

"yield," late 15c., from M.Fr. deferer, from L. deferre "carry away, transfer, grant;" modern sense is from meaning "refer (a matter) to someone," from de- "down, away" + ferre "carry" (see infer).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Experts generally recommend that you defer taxes as long as possible.
Forming my own opinions about what war feels like, I don't have to defer to him
We also defer to the trappings of authority.
This she did often; invariably Herb would stop talking and defer to her as soon
  as she began to chime in.
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