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To delay action, wait or hesitate - thesaurus




to do something later than is planned or expected



to delay doing something until someone arrives or until something else happens



to pause before doing something, or to do something very slowly, usually because you are nervous, embarrassed, or worried

put off

to delay doing something, especially because you do not want to do it

hold off

to deliberately delay doing something

sit on

to delay dealing with something



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



formal to delay doing something in order to gain time



formal to avoid saying or doing something because you want to cause a delay or hide the truth

play for time

to deliberately delay doing something, or to do it more slowly than usual, so that you have more time to decide what to do

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formal to wait for something that you expect to happen



formal to wait for something that is the next stage in a process

be in no hurry

to be able to wait to do something, because you have plenty of time

bide your time

to wait in a patient way for an opportunity to do something



if people are circling, they are watching a situation and waiting for an opportunity to get something they want

cool your heels

to have to wait for something, especially when this is annoying and boring

count down

to wait for something to happen, usually noticing every day or moment that passes until it happens

count the days/hours/minutes etc

to wait for something that you want very much to happen



to be waiting for someone or something to arrive



to stop doing something because you have lost your confidence or determination



formal to stop yourself from doing or saying something, especially in a way that shows that you are polite or patient

gain time

to get more time for yourself in order to do something or while you wait for something to happen

hang around

to spend time in a place waiting or doing nothing

hang/hold fire

to wait before you take action

hang on

spoken to wait or be patient

hold on

to wait

hunker down

American to wait for a difficult situation to end

kick your heels

to waste time waiting for someone or something



to spend time doing a particular activity while you are waiting for something

let the dust settle

to allow a situation to become calm or normal again after something exciting or unusual has happened



to stand or wait in a public place for no particular reason



to wait, sometimes hiding, in order to frighten, annoy, or attack someone

mark time

to do nothing, or to make no progress, because you are waiting for something to happen

on/to one side

if you put something to one side, you do not talk about it or deal with it now

pace yourself

to avoid doing something too quickly or doing too much at one time, so that you have enough energy left to complete an activity

play a/the waiting game

to delay in a situation where people expect you to do something, because you think this will give you an advantage



informal to avoid saying or doing anything definite because you are nervous and do not know what to do

see how it goes/things go

used for saying that a decision about a situation will be made after allowing it to develop for a period of time



informal to delay too long before making a decision



to move around or to wait somewhere in a secret way, especially because you are going to do something bad

take a rain check (on something)

mainly American used for saying that you are not going to accept an offer or suggestion immediately, but you may accept it later


a British spelling of temporize

twiddle your thumbs

to do nothing and feel impatient because you are waiting for something to happen



to be hoping or expecting that something will happen

wait around

to do nothing because you are expecting something to happen, and you cannot do anything until it does

wait on

to wait for a particular thing to happen

wait your turn

to wait in a patient way for your opportunity to have or to do something



to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

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Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

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