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Multiple Meanings
defer — as in:  deferred the decision

The weather forced us to defer our departure another day.
postpone (hold off until a later time)
defer — as in:  deferred to her wishes

I defer to her expertise.
submit or yield (typically to another person’s opinion because of respect for that person or their knowledge)

More rarely, defer can be used to indicate showing respect or deference; as when Dickens wrote in Bleak House:  "They know him there and defer to him."
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