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procrastinate Line breaks: pro|cras¦tin|ate
Pronunciation: /prə(ʊ)ˈkrastɪneɪt/

Definition of procrastinate in English:


[no object]
Delay or postpone action; put off doing something: the temptation will be to procrastinate until the power struggle plays itself out
More example sentences
  • But instead it has procrastinated and delayed, to the ever-increasing cost of the taxpayer.
  • Insensitive bureaucrats in the capital should not be allowed to procrastinate and thereby delay the delivery of food to the needy.
  • When you're under too much emotional stress, you vacillate and procrastinate, especially when it has something to do with money.
delay, put off doing something, postpone action, defer action, be dilatory, use delaying tactics, stall, temporize, play for time, play a waiting game, dally, drag one's feet/heels, take one's time;
hesitate, vacillate, dither, be indecisive, be undecided, waver;
British  haver, hum and haw;
Scottish  swither
informal dilly-dally, shilly-shally
US informal kick the can down the road


On the difference between procrastinate and prevaricate, see prevaricate (usage).


Pronunciation: /prə(ʊ)ˈkrastɪneɪtə/
Example sentences
  • Most of you have sent out your invites to your respective Oscar soirées already, but to those procrastinators (like me), here are some invite suggestions, taken from my very own experiences.
  • I guess we're all avoiders and procrastinators, but those who come to my corner of the university have turned it into an art, to the extent that that's why they're here, really.
  • Apparently, we are not only procrastinators and malingerers but a bunch of lily-livered cowards because going to the dentist tops the list, followed by exercising and saving money.
Pronunciation: /prə(ʊ)ˈkrastɪnət(ə)ri/
Example sentences
  • I ought also to catalogue my entire CD collection for insurance purposes but I'm not currently in need of THAT much procrastinatory activity.
  • Most importantly, procrastinatory behaviour is based on perceived workloads and deadlines, and it can not be assumed that perceptions are always perfect.
  • Actually I shall probably take advantage of a little light dialup for a while, so frantic procrastinatory posting may well still regularly occur.


Late 16th century: from Latin procrastinat- 'deferred till the morning', from the verb procrastinare, from pro- 'forward' + crastinus 'belonging to tomorrow' (from cras 'tomorrow').

  • To procrastinate is to put off doing something. The Latin word it comes from, procrastinare, had the sense ‘to put off till the morning’, with the cras part meaning ‘tomorrow’. The saying procrastination is the thief of time originates in the poem Night Thoughts (1742–45) by Edward Young: ‘Procrastination is the Thief of Time; / Year after year it steals, till all are fled.’

Definition of procrastinate in:
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