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[dih-liv-er] /dɪˈlɪv ər/
verb (used with object)
to carry and turn over (letters, goods, etc.) to the intended recipient or recipients:
to deliver mail; to deliver a package.
to give into another's possession or keeping; surrender:
to deliver a prisoner to the police; to deliver a bond.
to bring (votes) to the support of a candidate or a cause.
to give forth in words; utter or pronounce:
to deliver a verdict; to deliver a speech.
to give forth or emit:
The oil well delivers 500 barrels a day.
to strike or throw:
to deliver a blow.
to set free or liberate:
The Israelites were delivered from bondage.
to release or save:
Deliver me from such tiresome people!
to assist (a female) in bringing forth young:
The doctor delivered her of twins.
to assist at the birth of:
The doctor delivered the baby.
to give birth to:
She delivered twins at 4 a.m.
to disburden (oneself) of thoughts, opinions, etc.
to make known; assert.
verb (used without object)
to give birth.
to provide a delivery service for goods and products:
The store delivers free of charge.
to do or carry out as promised:
an ad agency known for delivering when a successful campaign is needed.
Archaic. agile; quick.
Origin of deliver
1175-1225; Middle English delivren < Old French delivrer < Late Latin dēlīberāre to set free, equivalent to dē- de- + līberāre to liberate
Related forms
deliverer, noun
misdeliver, verb (used with object)
outdeliver, verb (used with object)
predeliver, verb (used with object)
undelivered, adjective
well-delivered, adjective
1. hand over, transfer, cede, yield. 4. communicate, announce, proclaim, publish. 7. emancipate, release. 8. redeem, rescue.
7. confine. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for undelivered
Historical Examples
  • I expect you will be there to lift it; if it comes back to me undelivered another pillar of my faith in humanity will be gone.

    The Bail Jumper Robert J. C. Stead
  • A few days later your answer is returned to you undelivered.

  • But they had just found Lord Cornwallis's letter in my pocket, still sealed and undelivered.

    The Master of Appleby Francis Lynde
  • He reminded her of an undelivered parcel, waiting for its owner to turn up.

    The Rubicon E. F. Benson
  • There we exchanged a few words for the first time, and this reminds me that I am bearer of a message yet undelivered.

    Macaria Augusta Jane Evans Wilson
  • "Nothing at all undelivered," he said, as he politely expressed his regret at having to disappoint me.

    The Boy Spy Joseph Kerby
  • He was weak enough to permit himself to be removed to a distance with his ultimatum to Napoleon undelivered.

  • He was ten miles down the river before he remembered that the reproof he had framed for the girl had been undelivered.

    Sanders of the River Edgar Wallace
  • But how could I face Kitty Carrington with that undelivered note?

    Kitty's Conquest Charles King
  • Drawing a thick packet of undelivered telegrams from his pocket, he handed it to his uncle.

    Empire Builders Francis Lynde
British Dictionary definitions for undelivered


verb (mainly transitive)
to carry (goods, etc) to a destination, esp to carry and distribute (goods, mail, etc) to several places: to deliver letters, our local butcher delivers
often foll by over or up. to hand over, transfer, or surrender
(often foll by from) to release or rescue (from captivity, harm, corruption, etc)
(also intransitive)
  1. to aid in the birth of (offspring)
  2. to give birth to (offspring)
  3. (usually foll by of) to aid or assist (a female) in the birth (of offspring)
  4. (passive) foll by of. to give birth (to offspring)
to utter or present (a speech, oration, idea, etc)
deliver the goods See deliver (sense 11)
to utter (an exclamation, noise, etc): to deliver a cry of exultation
to discharge or release (something, such as a blow or shot) suddenly
(mainly US) to cause (voters, constituencies, etc) to support a given candidate, cause, etc: can you deliver the Bronx?
deliver oneself of, to speak with deliberation or at length: to deliver oneself of a speech
(informal) deliver the goods, to produce or perform something promised or expected
Derived Forms
deliverable, adjective
deliverability, noun
deliverer, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French delivrer, from Late Latin dēlīberāre to set free, from Latin de- + līberāre to free
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 undelivered

late 15c., from un- (1) "not" + past participle of deliver.



c.1200, "save, rescue, set free, liberate," from Old French delivrer "to set free; remove; save, preserve; hand over (goods)," also used of childbirth, from Late Latin deliberare, from de- "away" (see de-) + Latin liberare "to free" (see liberal (adj.)).

Childbirth sense in English, "to bring (a woman) to childbirth," is from c.1300. Sense of "hand over, give, give up, yield" is c.1300. in English, which brings it in opposition to its root. Meaning "project, throw" is 1590s. Related: Delivered; delivering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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undelivered in Medicine

deliver de·liv·er (dĭ-lĭv'ər)
v. de·liv·ered, de·liv·er·ing, de·liv·ers

  1. To assist a woman in giving birth to a baby.

  2. To extract something from an enclosed place, as a foreign body or a tumor.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for undelivered

damage, the

noun phrase

The price; cost; esp a bill at a restaurant or bar (1755+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with undelivered


In addition to the idiom beginning with deliver also see: signed, sealed, and delivered
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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