V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. tending to waste time or move slowly; 2. intended to cause delay

Synonyms: laggard, procrastinating, tardy, dallying, delaying, slow, sluggish, slack, unhurried

Antonyms: quick, prompt

Tips: Dilatory comes from the Latin word dilatus, "to postpone." Its modern meaning can refer to a person or a thing causing, or intended to cause, delay or wasted time. It can also refer to the use of delay to slowly wear down an opponent in order to avoid a direct confrontation. For a memory trick, note how dilatory sounds like "delay story." Someone who is constantly dilatory (late, lagging, tardy) has to always come up with a "delay story" to explain why he was late. Or, someone can use a "delay story" to be dilatory in wasting time on purpose. A child would be dilatory if she told a "delay story" to stay up past her bed time. The next time your dilatory (chronically late) friend tries to use a "delay story" to explain why she was late, tell your friend that she is simply dilatory, and there is no real excuse for always being late.

Usage Examples:

Due to her dilatory nature, I tell her we need to leave 15 minutes before it's actually time to leave, to allow for all of her last-minute preparations. (unhurried, lagging)

Jon is usually dilatory about paying his telephone bill; last month his service was cut off because his payment was received too late. (tardy, unhurried)

He hoped that his dilatory tactics of jumping around and avoiding punches would eventually wear out his boxing opponent. (dallying, delaying)

She was always so dilatory that I hated making plans with her, because I knew she would turn up late. (tardy, procrastinating, laggard)

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