Word of the Day

procrastinate

Origin of the word

The verb ‘procrastine’ meaning ‘to defer or delay, to put back’ and derived from French was in use in the 1540s. Latin ‘procrastinatus’ is the past participle of the verb ‘procrastinare’ with the similar meaning of ‘to put off until tomorrow’. This is one possible root for procrastinate, which first appeared in the 1580s. However, it could also have been formed from the noun procrastination.

Circa 1600, procrastinator was in use and was most likely an agent noun — one that denotes something or someone that performs the action of a verb, such as ‘worker’ or ‘translator’ — from the Latin form of the verb procrastinate.
Related words: procrastination, procrastinator, procrastinatory.



Examples

“Avoiding certain tasks may seem like a guaranteed way they will never get done, but procrastination could actually make you more productive (in the long run), according to a psychology expert.” Telegraph. 11 March 2016: Procrastinating at work makes you more creative, research suggests.

“Everybody procrastinates, but not everybody is a procrastinator. Twenty per cent of men and women are clinical procrastinators, in school, at home, at work, in relationships. Though it is often treated as a light problem, clinical procrastination is not a matter of poor time management.” Guardian. 8th May 2017: Joseph Ferrari in Are you a procrastinator? Here’s how you’re helping online scammers.

“How exactly does procrastination work, and how do you stop it? Psychological research, comics and The Simpsons will explain.” The Washington Post. 26th April 2017: The real reasons you procrastinate — and how to stop.

“Never put off till to-morrow what you can do the day after to-morrow just as well.” — Mark Twain.

Definition

1. to delay doing something until later, usually something that you do not want to do

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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Macmillan Dictionary

Macmillan Dictionary

Macmillan Dictionary is an award-winning, one-stop reference for English learners and speakers around the world.

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