A delay is a wait or a postponement. An unexpected delay before the start of a play might make the audience restless and noisy.

During a delay, you have to wait around for things to begin. Delay is also a verb: "That burnt pizza is going to delay dinner for at least another hour." You can also delay by loitering or hanging around: "The performer always delays when he's nervous about singing in front of a crowd." Delay comes from the Old French delaiier, from the roots de-, "not," and laier, "leave."

Definitions of delay

n time during which some action is awaited

“instant replay caused too long a delay
hold, postponement, time lag, wait
a mutually agreed delay in the date set for the completion of a job or payment of a debt
a legally authorized postponement before some obligation must be discharged
the extent to which something is delayed or held back
Type of:
break, intermission, interruption, pause, suspension
a time interval during which there is a temporary cessation of something

n the act of delaying; inactivity resulting in something being put off until a later time

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break, disruption, gap, interruption
an act of delaying or interrupting the continuity
detention of a ship or freight car or other cargo beyond its scheduled time of departure
a delay in enforcing rights or claims or privileges; refraining from acting
deferment, deferral, postponement
act of putting off to a future time
cunctation, procrastination, shillyshally
the act of procrastinating; putting off or delaying or defering an action to a later time
lag, retardation, slowdown
the act of slowing down or falling behind
dalliance, dawdling, trifling
the deliberate act of delaying and playing instead of working
(law) a tactic for delaying or obstructing legislation by making long speeches
lingering, tarriance
the act of tarrying
cut-in, insert
(film) a still picture that is introduced and that interrupts the action of a film
cut-in, insert
(broadcasting) a local announcement inserted into a network program
the act of postponing to another time or place
interjection, interpellation, interpolation, interposition
the action of interjecting or interposing an action or remark that interrupts
abruption, breaking off
an instance of sudden interruption
barracking, heckling
shouting to interrupt a speech with which you disagree
Type of:
being inactive; being less active

v cause to be slowed down or delayed

“Traffic was delayed by the bad weather”
“she delayed the work that she didn't want to perform”
detain, hold up
hurry, rush
urge to an unnatural speed
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engage in delaying tactics or refuse to cooperate
delay or hold up; prevent from proceeding on schedule or as planned
deliberately delay an event or action
buy time
act so as to delay an event or action in order to gain an advantage
Type of:
decelerate, retard, slow, slow down, slow up
lose velocity; move more slowly

v slow the growth or development of

check, retard
check; keep in check (a fire)
detain, stay
stop or halt
Type of:
alter, change, modify
cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

v act later than planned, scheduled, or required

“Don't delay your application to graduate school or else it won't be considered”
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hesitate, pause
interrupt temporarily an activity before continuing
dilly-dally, dillydally, drag one's feet, drag one's heels, procrastinate, shillyshally, stall
postpone doing what one should be doing
postpone or delay needlessly
defer, hold over, postpone, prorogue, put off, put over, remit, set back, shelve, table
hold back to a later time
hem and haw
utter `hems' and `haws'; indicated hesitation
hesitate on moral grounds
stop or postpone because of adverse conditions, such as bad weather
stop dealing with
render temporarily ineffective
put a convicted person on probation by suspending his sentence
reprieve, respite
postpone the punishment of a convicted criminal, such as an execution
Type of:
hold back, hold off, wait
wait before acting

v stop or halt

detain, stay
Type of:
check, retard
slow the growth or development of

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