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Sample Sentences Using
defer -- as in: deferred the decision
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as in: deferred the decision Define
postpone (hold off until a later time)
  • The weather forced us to defer our departure another day.
  • She deferred college until after serving in the military.
  • Can we defer any of December’s work to save on this year’s taxes?
  • The IRA permits investment earnings to grow tax-deferred until retirement.

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  • She asked to defer cross-examination until the morning.
  • Punishment might be deferred . . . but never escaped.
    Stephen King  --  Misery
  • I might not even go to school anyway. I might defer and join the Peace Corps and...
    Sarah Dessen  --  This Lullaby
  • Sophi felt she was only deferring the problem.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • It had taken all of Melanie’s diplomacy to persuade them to defer their decision.
    Margaret Mitchell  --  Gone with the Wind
  • ...she was given a thirty-day jail sentence deferred—which, as Alex was explaining to her now, meant that she wouldn’t have to go for a year.
    Jodi Picoult  --  Nineteen Minutes

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  • All we can do, it seems, is defer judgment and accept the situation as it is.
    Haruki Murakami  --  After Dark
  • ...the professor also advised him to defer advanced science courses and concentrate for now on his English.
    Tracy Kidder  --  Strength in What Remains
  • millions of returning servicemen plunged into the dreams they had deferred
    James Bradley  --  Flags of Our Fathers
  • ...all arrangements had been deferred until he came.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
  • I deferred asking him about Miss Havisham until next day.
    Charles Dickens  --  Great Expectations
  • ...upon second thoughts we deferred it to the next night,
    Daniel Defoe  --  Robinson Crusoe
  • Arguments are too much like disputes.  If you and Miss Bennet will defer yours till I am out of the room, I shall be very thankful;
    Jane Austen  --  Pride and Prejudice
  • ...he did not like to defer the pleasure...
    Emily Bronte  --  Wuthering Heights
  • He deferred his departure a whole week,
    Charlotte Bronte  --  Jane Eyre
  • Compelled, as they were, to await a night sufficiently dark to favor their flight, they were obliged to defer their final attempt till that auspicious moment should arrive;
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Count of Monte Cristo
  • It’s only a pleasure deferred.
    James Joyce  --  Dubliners
  • ...all questions and explanations might as well be deferred until he was safely back at Green Gables.
    Lucy Maud Montgomery  --  Anne Of Green Gables
  • ...deferred fixing it.
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Three Musketeers
  • ...whether we were to defer the business or put it in execution at once.
    Miguel de Cervantes  --  Don Quixote
  • Oh! go to-day, go to-day. Do not defer it.
    Jane Austen  --  Emma
  • What happens to a dream deferred?
    Lorraine Hansberry  --  A Raisin in the Sun
  • destruction is deferred only so long as the attack is
    Nicolo Machiavelli  --  The Prince
  • Mortenson decided to defer the raise the board had approved for him,
    Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin  --  Three Cups of Tea
  • The Clifton scheme had been deferred,
    Jane Austen  --  Northanger Abbey
  • trying to defer as long as possible the moment of...
    Leo Tolstoy  --  Anna Karenina
  • ...he deferred doing it deliberately in order to make her suffer more.
    William Faulkner  --  Light in August
  • For the present, however, it must remain a deferred pleasure.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Brisingr
  • ...his long deferred visit to Alexandra.
    Willa Cather  --  O Pioneers!
  • ...to defer her departure.
    Jane Austen  --  Sense and Sensibility
  • Then he took energetic resolutions, wrote letters that he tore up, put it off to times that he again deferred.
    Gustave Flaubert  --  Madame Bovary
  • difficulties deferred
    Edith Wharton  --  The Age of Innocence
  • Hope deferred maketh the something sick, who said that?
    Samuel Beckett  --  Waiting for Godot
  • He was impatient of their voices and could not keep his feet at rest. But the teller still deferred the serving of
    others...
    James Joyce  --  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • things yet to come of those long-deferred hopes
    Charles Dickens  --  Bleak House
  • ...slowly, as if he were trying to defer the moment of a painful parting.
    George Eliot  --  The Mill on the Floss
  • ...to defer her explanatory visit in Rivers Street.
    Jane Austen  --  Persuasion
  • ...deferment consists of keeping proceedings permanently in their earliest stages.
    Franz Kafka  --  The Trial
  • ...if even deferred love could have supplied her with the will to exist,
    William Faulkner  --  Absalom, Absalom!
  • I will defer the telling.
    Henry James  --  Washington Square
  • As it was late, he would ask leave to defer the examination of his three witnesses until the next morning.
    Mark Twain  --  Pudd’nhead Wilson
  • Phædrus asks him to explain a point, saying he hasn’t been able to understand it. He has, but thinks it would be nice to defer a little.
    Robert M. Pirsig  --  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • ...to return to the house which I had always in my mind and always deferred.
    Hermann Hesse  --  Steppenwolf
  • ...he had actually written home to defer his return, having promised to remain some days longer with his friend.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • ...he got his indictment deferred,
    Daniel Defoe  --  Moll Flanders
  • He wishes it could be otherwise. Wishes he could simply get into another cab, and ride along another highway, deferring the moment he must face them.
    Jhumpa Lahiri  --  The Namesake
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To see samples using other meanings of defer, click a word sense below:
as in: deferred the decision Define
postpone (hold off until a later time)
as in: deferred to her wishes Define
submit or yield (typically to another person's opinion because of respect for that person or their knowledge)
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