Definition of postpone in English:

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Pronunciation: /pəʊs(t)ˈpəʊn/
Pronunciation: /pəˈspəʊn/


[with object]
Cause or arrange for (something) to take place at a time later than that first scheduled: the visit had to be postponed for some time [with present participle]: he postponed implementing the scheme until industry and business were consulted
More example sentences
  • To my surprise she now seemed to believe my problems and was considering postponing my death sentence.
  • Meanwhile the council is planning to postpone the introduction of recycling schemes for flats.
  • Worries about crime led councillors to postpone a decision on a leisure trail on a former railway.
put off, delay, defer, put back, hold over/off, carry over, reschedule, adjourn, stay, shelve, stand over, pigeonhole, keep in abeyance, suspend, mothball;
North American  put over, table, take a rain check on;
North American Law  continue
informal put on ice, put on the back burner, put in cold storage
rare remit, respite



Pronunciation: /pəʊs(t)ˈpəʊnəb(ə)l/ Pronunciation: /pəˈspəʊnəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • In addition, there is the Treasury pressure, acute at the moment, to look critically at all avoidable or postponable expenditure (there is a war, of uncertain scope and duration, to be paid for).
  • The Institute of Health and Welfare estimates that 80 per cent of health related conditions in old age are preventable or postponable if corrected in time.
  • Increasingly, the kinds of memory problems that have long been seen as inevitable with age are now thought to be avoidable - or at least postponable.


Example sentences
  • The postponers are those who refuse to make a decision, allowing relationships, professional commitments and finally nature to make the choice for them.
  • This suggests that the postponers intend to work, but somehow get sidetracked.
  • So I say to my fellow postponers - be proud, be productive, be a procrastinator!


Late 15th century: from Latin postponere, from post 'after' + ponere 'to place'.

  • positive from Late Middle English:

    At the core of positive is the idea of placing something firmly, and the ultimate source is Latin ponere ‘to place’. In the 14th century the English word was used to refer to laws as being formally laid down. From this developed the more general meaning ‘explicitly laid down and admitting no question’ (as in proof positive), and later ‘very sure, convinced’. Position (Late Middle English) comes from the same root, as does postpone (late 15th century) literally ‘place after’. See also compost, post

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: post|pone

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