Definition of deliver in English:

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Pronunciation: /dɪˈlɪvə/


[with object]
1Bring and hand over (a letter, parcel, or goods) to the proper recipient or address: the products should be delivered on time [no object]: we’ll deliver direct to your door
More example sentences
  • Then last Friday they delivered a bunch of letters and packages some dating back to the past two years.
  • What happens if someone writes the wrong address on an envelope, or the postman delivers the letter to the wrong door?
  • Whilst in Britain a paper round is done by spotty 13 yr old kids before school, here it is a proper job and the delivery guys also double up by delivering goods during the days.
bring, take, take round, convey, carry, transport, distribute, drop-ship;
send, dispatch, remit
hand over, turn over, transfer, make over, sign over;
surrender, give up, yield, relinquish, cede, render up;
consign, commit, entrust, trust, commend
2Provide (something promised or expected): he had been able to deliver votes in huge numbers [no object]: she’s waiting for him to deliver on his promise
More example sentences
  • People expect us to deliver on our election promises.
  • It employs 18 full and part time trained staff and prides itself on delivering its promises by providing quality products at competitive prices.
  • There will be no ‘business as usual’, since his supporters expect him to deliver on the many promises he has made during the campaign.
provide, supply, furnish
2.1Formally hand over (someone): there was a reward if you were delivered unharmed to the nearest British post
More example sentences
  • Churchill was rejected by the people after delivering us through the horrors of world war.
  • I looked down on figures who, with their consorts, advisers, bureaucrats and academics, had delivered their own people to the vampires.
  • It took both reflexes acting in concert to deliver the people of the Chagos archipelago into exile.
2.2 (deliver someone/thing up) Surrender someone or something: had he feared she would deliver him up to the police?
More example sentences
  • In any other civilised country, the head of the phone company would be delivered up on a platter for these serious infrastructure failures.
  • If she wasn't beating us herself, she was delivering us up to the nuns for a whack.
  • I caught the resignation attitude myself as I delivered the car up for its annual service and road test.
2.3 Law Acknowledge that one intends to be bound by (a deed), either explicitly by declaration or implicitly by formal handover.
Example sentences
  • In witness of which this document has been signed and sealed as a deed and delivered the date and year first before written.
  • It is no doubt true that a deed may be delivered on a condition that it is not to be operative until some event happens or some condition is performed.
  • The plaintiff had delivered a formal written notice within time, but the notice had failed to state the grounds of appeal or the facts on which he relied.
3Launch or aim (a blow, ball, or attack): he delivered a punch to the man’s belly figurative the company has delivered a body blow to this city
More example sentences
  • He is quick to the ball and delivers a quality blow.
  • He has worked on an exceptionally quick hand punch that delivers a blow before larger defensive tackles can get into their rushes.
  • He takes proper angles to the ball, not wasting any steps, and delivers a powerful blow when he gets there.
administer, deal, inflict, give, direct, aim
informal land
bowl, pitch, hurl, throw, cast, launch, lob;
discharge, fire off;
British Sport  flight
4State in a formal manner: he will deliver a lecture on endangered species he delivered himself of a sermon
More example sentences
  • He delivered himself of this speech with the air of one who has solved a great truth.
  • And besides them, there's the invitation-only crowd at the Banqueting House in Whitehall, to whom he will deliver the only formal speech of his visit.
  • Knowing that a poor performance would reignite the whispering campaign against him, he spoke in a leaden manner before delivering a blunt ‘modernise or die’ message.
utter, give, make, read, recite, broadcast, give voice to, voice, speak, declaim;
pronounce, announce, declare, proclaim, hand down, bring in, return, render, set forth
4.1(Of a judge or court) give (a judgement or verdict): the court was due to deliver its verdict
More example sentences
  • But the verdict delivered by the Court of Final Appeal said the authority will still be able to provide such facilities through another party after the listing.
  • Against this backdrop, Roh should wait patiently until the Constitutional Court delivers its final verdict.
  • Visitors to the interactive exhibition can perform in front of the tough panel with the judges delivering their verdicts, more often than not trading insults among themselves.
5Assist in the birth of: the village midwife delivered the baby
More example sentences
  • Ita was the local midwife and delivered many a home birth before the Maternity Hospital era in rural parishes.
  • A community midwife who has delivered hundreds of babies over the past 30 years has been honoured with an award for the special care she has given patients.
  • The delivery room nurse, the resident, and the attending physician assisted as the plaintiff delivered a healthy baby boy.
5.1Give birth to: the number of women delivering their babies in hospitals increased
More example sentences
  • In June 2001 she was delivered of a 3.1 kg healthy boy, her seventh child and fourth caesarean.
  • At length, however, she was delivered of a child; but it is uncertain whether it was born alive or not.
give birth to, bear, be delivered of, have, bring into the world, bring forth;
North American  birth
informal drop
archaic be brought to bed of
5.2 archaic or formal Assist (a woman) in giving birth: Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4.24 p.m.
6 (deliver someone/thing from) Save, rescue, or set someone or something free from: deliver us from the nightmare of junk mail
More example sentences
  • She prayed the bell would save her and deliver her from this torment, but her prayer fell on mute ears and there were still seven minutes when she reached the front and turned to face the class.
  • His strong performance delivers the movie from all-out silliness; this is quite a feat, given that he's required to utter lines like ‘That's a sandstorm!’
  • But the region will pay a heavy price for his folly unless the scandal swirling around him delivers the world from his Machiavellian designs.
save, rescue, set free, free, liberate, release, set at liberty, set loose, extricate, discharge, emancipate, redeem, ransom
literary disenthral
historical manumit


deliver the goods

informal Provide that which is promised or expected: the command economy can’t deliver the goods
More example sentences
  • The ministers and MPs are aware that people's expectations are very high as they are expected to deliver the goods.
  • It's much more difficult to deliver the goods when everyone expects it of you.
  • Open economies and open societies are good provided they deliver the goods for ordinary working families.



Pronunciation: /dɪˈlɪvərə/
Example sentences
  • Writing in 1888, historian Henry Howe said that when MacGahan returned to Bulgaria in 1877, he was everywhere hailed as a liberator and deliverer.
  • The concept of a redeemer, a liberator, or a deliverer is much closer to the state of mind that is prevalent today than is the innocuous and ambiguous term information.
  • Quicksilver, liquid metal, nickname for Mercury, keeper of eloquence and dexterity, protector of roads, deliverer of the messages we need.


Middle English: from Old French delivrer, based on Latin de- 'away' + liberare 'set free'.

  • Deliver goes back to Latin liber ‘free’, which is also the source of liberty. The word has been used for taking and handing over letters and goods since the late Middle Ages. The phrase to deliver the goods, ‘to provide what is promised and expected’, is from the USA, and the first known examples are from political debate in the 1870s. Highwaymen really did tell their victims to stand and deliver—the phrase is mentioned in an early 18th-century account of the lives of highwaymen.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: de|liver

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