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dilatory

To dilate something can mean to widen it (as in "dilated pupils"), or to stretch it out in time: to lengthen it so that it takes a longer time.

And someone or something that dilates things is dilatory. In other words, "dilatory" means delaying things, making them take too long, either on purpose (often to gain time before doing something), or just out of laziness or slowness.

Pronunciation:
DILL uh tore ee.
(Remember to use a short "i" in the first syllable: rhyme it with "bill," "fill," and "hill,"
even though there's a long "i" in the word "dilate.")

Part of speech:
Adjective.
(Adjectives are describing words, like "large" or "late."
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in "a dilatory thing" or "a dilatory person."
2. After a linking verb, as in "It was dilatory" or "He was dilatory.")

Other forms:
dilatoriness, dilatorily

How to use it:
This word has a negative tone: dilatory people and things annoy us by wasting our time, failing to act, being lazy, procrastinating, and/or making things take longer than they should.

Talk about dilatory people and personalities, dilatory habits, dilatory tactics and strategies, dilatory movements and procedures, a dilatory speed or pace, and dilatory actions and responses (such as dilatory payments, dilatory apologies, or a dilatory show of enthusiasm).

If you talk generally about "the dilatory," you mean the people who cause delays.

And you can say that someone is dilatory in doing something: "She was dilatory in submitting her paperwork."

examples:
He returned to the service counter with a dilatory saunter, hoping, maybe, that we would get impatient and go away.

Our country's visa system is notoriously dilatory, with wait times ranging from months to years.



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