Top 60 Slang For Delay – Meaning & Usage

Ever been in a situation where you needed to describe a delay but couldn’t find the right words? Don’t fret, we’ve got you covered. From casual conversations to professional settings, delays are a common occurrence, and having the right slang to describe them can make all the difference. Join us as we unveil a list of the most popular and trendy slang for delay that will have you speaking like a pro in no time.

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1. Lag

Lag refers to a delay in data transmission or processing, often resulting in a slow or unresponsive system. It is commonly used in the context of online gaming or internet connections.

  • For example, a gamer might complain, “I keep experiencing lag during multiplayer matches.”
  • A user might post, “Anyone else dealing with lag on this website?”
  • Someone might say, “My video call is lagging, can you hear me?”

2. Hold up

Hold up is used to describe an unexpected delay or obstacle that prevents progress or movement. It can refer to both physical and non-physical situations.

  • For instance, a person might say, “Sorry for the hold up, there’s traffic on the highway.”
  • In a conversation about a project, someone might ask, “What’s the hold up? Why aren’t we moving forward?”
  • A person waiting for a friend might text, “Hey, where are you? I’m experiencing a hold up here.”

3. Drag

Drag is used to describe a situation where progress is slow or delayed. It can refer to both physical and non-physical scenarios.

  • For example, a person might say, “This project is such a drag, it’s taking forever.”
  • In a conversation about a slow internet connection, someone might comment, “The lag is such a drag, I can’t even load a webpage.”
  • A person might complain, “The traffic is a drag, it’s making my commute longer.”

4. Postpone

Postpone means to delay or reschedule an event, meeting, or task to a later time or date.

  • For instance, a person might say, “We need to postpone the meeting until next week.”
  • In a discussion about a concert, someone might post, “The concert has been postponed due to bad weather.”
  • A student might ask, “Can we postpone the deadline for the assignment? I need more time.”

5. Stall

Stall is used to describe a situation where progress is delayed or hindered, often due to a lack of action or response.

  • For example, a person might say, “The negotiations have stalled, and we’re not making any progress.”
  • In a conversation about a slow computer, someone might comment, “My computer keeps stalling, and I can’t get any work done.”
  • A person waiting for a response might say, “I’ve been waiting for a reply, but they’re stalling.”

6. Dilly-dally

To waste time or procrastinate, especially by being indecisive or taking longer than necessary to do something.

  • For example, “Stop dilly-dallying and get to work!”
  • A parent might say to their child, “Quit dilly-dallying and put on your shoes.”
  • A teacher might scold a student, “No more dilly-dallying, it’s time to start the test.”

7. Put off

To delay or postpone something, often because you don’t want to do it or because you are not ready to deal with it.

  • For instance, “I keep putting off cleaning my room.”
  • A student might say, “I always put off studying until the last minute.”
  • A person might confess, “I’ve been putting off going to the dentist for months.”

8. Tardy

To be late or delayed in arriving at a certain place or completing a task.

  • For example, “Don’t be tardy for the party!”
  • A teacher might say to a student, “You’re tardy again, please be on time.”
  • A boss might scold an employee, “Being tardy to work is unacceptable.”

9. Procrastinate

To delay or postpone doing something, often out of habit or a tendency to avoid tasks or responsibilities.

  • For instance, “I always procrastinate when it comes to doing my taxes.”
  • A student might say, “I tend to procrastinate on writing essays until the last minute.”
  • A person might admit, “I know I need to start exercising, but I keep procrastinating.”

10. Sluggish

To be slow or delayed in movement or progress.

  • For example, “I feel sluggish after eating a big meal.”
  • A person might complain, “The computer is running really sluggish today.”
  • A driver might say, “Traffic was so sluggish this morning, it took me twice as long to get to work.”

11. Downtime

This refers to a period when a system or machine is not functioning or not available for use. It can also refer to a time when a person is not actively working or engaged in an activity.

  • For example, a computer technician might say, “We experienced some downtime due to a software update.”
  • A manager might discuss productivity by saying, “We need to minimize downtime to maximize efficiency.”
  • In a conversation about work-life balance, someone might say, “I enjoy my downtime on the weekends to relax and recharge.”

12. Backlog

A backlog refers to a list or collection of tasks that have not been completed or processed yet. It can also refer to a buildup of work or requests that need to be addressed.

  • For instance, a project manager might say, “We have a backlog of customer requests that need to be addressed.”
  • In a discussion about productivity, someone might mention, “I’m trying to work through my backlog of emails.”
  • A student might complain, “I have a backlog of assignments to complete before the end of the semester.”

13. Stalling

Stalling refers to intentionally delaying or prolonging a process or action. It can also refer to using tactics or strategies to buy time or avoid making a decision.

  • For example, in a negotiation, one party might accuse the other of stalling to gain an advantage.
  • A person might say, “Stop stalling and make a decision already!”
  • In a discussion about a project, someone might mention, “We’re stalling on the next phase until we receive more information.”

14. Linger

To linger means to stay or remain in a place or situation longer than necessary or expected. It can also refer to something that continues to exist or have an effect even after it should have ended.

  • For instance, someone might say, “Don’t linger too long at the party; we have to leave soon.”
  • In a conversation about a breakup, a person might say, “Feelings of sadness can linger long after a relationship ends.”
  • A customer might complain, “The taste of that food lingers in my mouth even after I’ve finished eating.”

15. Tarry

To tarry means to delay or wait for a period of time. It can also refer to staying in a place longer than necessary or expected.

  • For example, a person might say, “I can’t tarry any longer; I have to catch my train.”
  • In a discussion about punctuality, someone might mention, “Don’t tarry; be on time.”
  • A friend might ask, “Can I tarry at your house until my car is fixed?”

16. Dawdle

Dawdling refers to the act of procrastinating or taking longer than necessary to complete a task or reach a destination.

  • For example, “Stop dawdling and finish your homework!”
  • A parent might say, “We’re going to be late if you keep dawdling.”
  • Someone might complain, “I hate when people dawdle in the grocery store aisles.”

17. Temporize

Temporizing is the act of deliberately delaying or avoiding making a decision or taking action in order to buy more time or avoid commitment.

  • For instance, “He’s known for temporizing and never giving a straight answer.”
  • In a business meeting, someone might say, “Let’s not temporize any longer. We need to make a decision.”
  • A politician might be accused of temporizing on an important issue.
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18. Lollygag

Lollygagging refers to wasting time or lingering in a leisurely manner without any particular goal or objective.

  • For example, “Stop lollygagging and get to work!”
  • A teacher might say, “There’s no time for lollygagging in this class.”
  • A friend might complain, “We’re going to miss the movie if you keep lollygagging.”

19. Hold-up

A hold-up refers to any situation or event that causes a delay or interruption in progress or movement.

  • For instance, “There was a hold-up on the highway due to a car accident.”
  • A traveler might say, “I missed my flight because of a hold-up at security.”
  • A business owner might encounter a hold-up in the delivery of supplies.

20. Slowpoke

A slowpoke is a term used to describe someone who is slow in their actions or movements, often causing delays or inconveniences to others.

  • For example, “Come on, slowpoke, we’re going to be late!”
  • A parent might say, “Hurry up, slowpoke, we don’t have all day.”
  • A friend might playfully tease, “You’re such a slowpoke, it takes you forever to get ready.”

21. Idle

To be idle means to not be doing anything or to be inactive. It can also refer to a period of time where there is no activity or progress.

  • For example, “I’ve been idle all day, I need to find something productive to do.”
  • In a discussion about productivity, someone might say, “Avoid idle time and focus on completing tasks.”
  • A boss might scold an employee by saying, “Stop being idle and start working on your assignments.”

22. Lull

A lull refers to a temporary pause or decrease in activity. It can also refer to a period of calm or quietness.

  • For instance, “There was a lull in the conversation before someone changed the topic.”
  • During a busy workday, someone might say, “I need a lull in the day to catch my breath.”
  • In a discussion about music, a person might say, “The song has a lull in the middle before picking up again.”

23. Halt

To halt means to bring something to a stop or pause. It can also refer to a sudden interruption or cessation of activity.

  • For example, “The construction project came to a halt due to funding issues.”
  • In a discussion about progress, someone might say, “We need to halt the current plan and reassess our strategy.”
  • A teacher might tell a student, “Halt your work and pay attention to the instructions.”

24. Dragging one’s feet

Dragging one’s feet means to delay or procrastinate on something. It can also refer to taking longer than necessary to complete a task or make a decision.

  • For instance, “He’s been dragging his feet on finishing the project.”
  • In a discussion about planning a trip, someone might say, “Stop dragging your feet and book the flights already.”
  • A parent might scold a child by saying, “Quit dragging your feet and clean your room.”

25. Dragging one’s heels

Dragging one’s heels means to delay or resist making progress on something. It can also refer to being reluctant or unwilling to move forward.

  • For example, “The team is dragging their heels on implementing the new software.”
  • In a discussion about personal growth, someone might say, “Don’t drag your heels on pursuing your dreams.”
  • A manager might push their employees by saying, “Stop dragging your heels and start meeting your targets.”

26. Lagging behind

This phrase is used to describe someone or something that is not keeping up with the expected pace or progress. It can refer to a person, a project, or any other situation where there is a delay in progress.

  • For example, in a race, a participant who is not keeping up with the rest of the runners is lagging behind.
  • In a group project, a team member who is not completing their tasks on time is lagging behind.
  • A student who is not meeting the academic standards of their grade level is lagging behind.

27. Putting off

This phrase is used to describe the act of postponing or delaying something that needs to be done. It implies that the person is intentionally avoiding or procrastinating the task.

  • For instance, if someone keeps saying they will clean their room but never actually does it, they are putting off the task.
  • In a work setting, an employee who keeps postponing a deadline is putting off their work.
  • A student who keeps delaying studying for an exam is putting off their preparation.

28. Procrastinating

Procrastinating refers to the act of intentionally delaying or postponing tasks or actions. It is often associated with avoiding unpleasant or challenging tasks in favor of more enjoyable or easier activities.

  • For example, a student who keeps putting off writing a research paper until the last minute is procrastinating.
  • A person who constantly delays paying their bills or doing their taxes is procrastinating.
  • Someone who keeps postponing making a difficult phone call is procrastinating.

29. Taking one’s time

This phrase is used to describe the act of deliberately slowing down or prolonging a task or activity. It suggests that the person is not in a hurry and is taking their time to complete something.

  • For instance, if someone is walking slowly and leisurely instead of rushing, they are taking their time.
  • In a restaurant, a customer who spends a long time looking at the menu before ordering is taking their time.
  • A person who is not rushing to finish a project and is focusing on quality rather than speed is taking their time.
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30. Holding up

Holding up refers to causing a delay or obstruction in a process or progress. It implies that someone or something is preventing others from moving forward or progressing as planned.

  • For example, if there is a traffic accident on a highway, it can hold up the flow of traffic.
  • In a meeting, a person who keeps asking questions or bringing up unrelated topics can hold up the discussion.
  • A technical issue or malfunction that prevents a computer program from running smoothly can hold up the entire system.

31. Slowing down

This phrase refers to the act of taking more time than expected to complete a task or reach a destination.

  • For example, “Sorry for slowing down the project, I’ve been dealing with some personal issues.”
  • In a conversation about traffic, someone might say, “The accident up ahead is really slowing down the traffic.”
  • A teacher might scold a student, “Stop slowing down and finish your work on time.”

32. Postponing

This term means to delay or reschedule something to a later time or date.

  • For instance, “We are postponing the meeting until next week.”
  • In a discussion about travel plans, someone might say, “Due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to postpone our trip.”
  • A student might ask their professor, “Can we postpone the deadline for the assignment?”

33. Tarrying

Tarrying refers to the act of delaying or lingering in a place, often due to indecision or a lack of urgency.

  • For example, “Stop tarrying and make a decision already.”
  • In a conversation about someone being late, one might say, “She’s always tarrying and making us wait.”
  • A parent might scold their child, “Quit tarrying and get ready for school.”

34. Lollygagging

Lollygagging means to spend time aimlessly or in a leisurely manner, often resulting in a delay or lack of productivity.

  • For instance, “Stop lollygagging and start working on your assignment.”
  • In a discussion about a slow-moving group, someone might say, “We’re not going to make it on time with all this lollygagging.”
  • A manager might reprimand an employee, “I’ve noticed you’ve been lollygagging around the office lately.”

35. Dawdling

Dawdling refers to the act of moving or progressing at a slow or leisurely pace, often causing a delay or hindrance.

  • For example, “We need to pick up the pace and stop dawdling.”
  • In a conversation about someone taking a long time to get ready, one might say, “She’s always dawdling in the mornings.”
  • A teacher might tell their students, “No dawdling in the hallways, we need to get to class on time.”

36. Prolonging

This refers to intentionally extending or lengthening a delay or period of waiting.

  • For example, “Stop prolonging the meeting and get to the point.”
  • A person might say, “I’m tired of prolonging the decision. Let’s just choose already.”
  • Another might complain, “They keep prolonging the release date of the new video game.”

37. Hesitating

This refers to pausing or hesitating before taking action or making a decision, causing a delay.

  • For instance, “Stop hesitating and just ask her out.”
  • A person might say, “I’m hesitating because I’m not sure if it’s the right move.”
  • Another might advise, “Don’t waste time hesitating. Go for it!”

38. Sticking around

This refers to staying in a particular place or situation, often causing a delay.

  • For example, “I’m just sticking around until my friend arrives.”
  • A person might say, “I’ll stick around and see if anything interesting happens.”
  • Another might comment, “He’s always sticking around, never leaving.”

39. Hanging fire

This refers to delaying a decision or action, often leaving others in a state of suspense or uncertainty.

  • For instance, “The project is hanging fire until we receive more information.”
  • A person might say, “I hate hanging fire. I just want to know the outcome.”
  • Another might complain, “Why are they keeping us hanging fire? It’s so frustrating!”

40. Holding off

This refers to delaying or postponing something, often due to a specific reason or circumstance.

  • For example, “They’re holding off on the release until they fix the bugs.”
  • A person might say, “Let’s hold off on making a decision until we have more information.”
  • Another might comment, “I’m holding off on buying a new phone until the price drops.”

41. Biding time

This phrase refers to the act of waiting for the right moment or opportunity to take action. It implies that one is using the delay to their advantage.

  • For example, “While the team was biding time, they were also strategizing their next move.”
  • In a conversation about job hunting, someone might say, “I’m just biding my time until the perfect job opportunity comes along.”
  • A person discussing their approach to negotiations might mention, “I prefer to bide my time and observe the other party before making any decisions.”

42. Wasting time

This slang phrase suggests that someone is spending time on unproductive or unnecessary activities instead of being productive.

  • For instance, “Stop wasting time on social media and start working on your assignment.”
  • In a discussion about time management, one might say, “I used to waste a lot of time on non-essential tasks, but now I prioritize my work.”
  • A person talking about their daily routine might mention, “I try to minimize time-wasting activities and focus on what truly matters.”

43. Lax

In the context of delay, “lax” refers to someone who is not strict or punctual with their time management.

  • For example, “His lax attitude towards deadlines often leads to delays.”
  • In a conversation about work ethics, one might say, “It’s important to be disciplined and not be too lax with your time.”
  • A person discussing their personal growth might mention, “I used to be quite lax with my schedule, but now I prioritize my tasks and manage my time more effectively.”

44. Loitering

This term refers to the act of lingering or staying in a place without any specific reason or purpose, often causing a delay or obstruction.

  • For instance, “The security guard asked the group of teenagers to stop loitering outside the store.”
  • In a discussion about urban spaces, one might say, “Loitering can be a problem in certain areas, affecting the overall safety.”
  • A person sharing a personal experience might mention, “I was late for my appointment because I got stuck behind a group of people loitering on the sidewalk.”

45. Lagging

In the context of delay, “lagging” refers to the act of falling behind or moving slowly in comparison to others.

  • For example, “The slow internet connection was causing the video to lag.”
  • In a conversation about project management, one might say, “We need to address the issues that are causing the team to lag in their progress.”
  • A person discussing their fitness journey might mention, “I started lagging behind in my workouts, but I’m trying to get back on track.”

46. Dilly-dallying

This term refers to the act of delaying or taking too long to make a decision or take action. It implies a lack of urgency or efficiency.

  • For example, “Stop dilly-dallying and get to work!”
  • A parent might scold their child, “Quit dilly-dallying and get ready for school.”
  • In a group setting, someone might say, “We need to stop dilly-dallying and start planning for the event.”

47. Hemming and hawing

This phrase describes the act of being indecisive or hesitant, especially when asked to make a choice or give an opinion. It implies a lack of commitment or confidence.

  • For instance, “Stop hemming and hawing and just pick a restaurant.”
  • In a discussion about a business decision, someone might say, “We can’t afford to spend time hemming and hawing over this.”
  • A teacher might encourage a student, “Don’t be afraid to speak up. Stop hemming and hawing.”

48. Puttering

This word refers to the act of engaging in small, unimportant tasks or activities, often as a way to avoid more important or pressing tasks. It implies a lack of focus or purpose.

  • For example, “I spent the whole afternoon puttering around the house instead of working on my project.”
  • A friend might ask, “What have you been up to lately?” and receive the response, “Just puttering around, nothing exciting.”
  • In a conversation about time management, someone might say, “I need to stop puttering and start prioritizing my tasks.”

49. Dallying

This term refers to the act of wasting time or lingering without purpose. It implies a lack of urgency or productivity.

  • For instance, “He’s been dallying around instead of finishing his work.”
  • In a discussion about productivity, someone might say, “Dallying is the enemy of progress.”
  • A parent might scold their child, “Stop dallying and get ready for bed.”

50. Shilly-shallying

This phrase describes the act of being indecisive or hesitant, especially when faced with a choice or decision. It implies a lack of commitment or confidence.

  • For example, “Quit shilly-shallying and make up your mind.”
  • In a discussion about career choices, someone might say, “Shilly-shallying will only hold you back.”
  • A teacher might encourage a student, “Don’t waste time shilly-shallying. Take a leap and try something new.”

51. Lingering

Lingering refers to the act of taking longer than necessary to complete a task or make a decision. It implies a sense of hesitation or reluctance.

  • For example, “Stop lingering and make a decision already!”
  • In a work setting, a colleague might say, “We can’t afford to have any lingering delays on this project.”
  • A friend might tease, “You’re always lingering when it’s time to leave.”

52. Foot-dragging

Foot-dragging is a term used to describe the act of purposely delaying or slowing down progress. It implies a lack of motivation or effort.

  • For instance, “The team’s foot-dragging is causing the project to fall behind.”
  • In a political context, one might accuse a politician of foot-dragging on important issues.
  • A supervisor might reprimand an employee, saying, “Stop the foot-dragging and get the job done.”

53. Dithering

Dithering refers to the act of being indecisive or hesitant in making a choice or taking action. It implies a lack of confidence or clarity.

  • For example, “Stop dithering and just pick a restaurant.”
  • In a business context, a manager might criticize a team member for dithering on a crucial decision.
  • A friend might say, “I can’t stand your dithering. Just make a choice!”

54. Waffling

Waffling is the act of frequently changing one’s mind or opinion. It implies a lack of commitment or consistency.

  • For instance, “He’s always waffling on his plans, it’s hard to keep up.”
  • In a political context, a candidate might be criticized for waffling on important issues.
  • A parent might scold their child, saying, “Stop waffling and make a decision.”

55. Languishing

Languishing refers to a state of lack of progress or growth. It implies a sense of stagnation or being stuck.

  • For example, “The project has been languishing for months with no signs of improvement.”
  • In a personal context, one might feel like they are languishing in a dead-end job.
  • A coach might motivate their team by saying, “We can’t afford to languish, we need to push forward.”

56. Trifling

To “trifle” means to waste time or procrastinate. It refers to delaying or avoiding doing something important.

  • For example, “Stop trifling and start working on your assignment.”
  • A person might say, “I can’t believe he’s trifling again instead of finishing his chores.”
  • In a work setting, a supervisor might warn an employee, “Don’t think you can get away with trifling on the job.”

57. Hauling one’s feet

This phrase means to delay or take a long time to do something. It implies that someone is moving slowly or dragging their feet.

  • For instance, “Why are you hauling your feet? We need to leave now.”
  • A person might complain, “She’s always hauling her feet when it’s time to go somewhere.”
  • In a group project, someone might say, “We can’t finish on time if you keep hauling your feet.”

58. Lallygagging

To “lallygag” means to spend time aimlessly or to waste time. It refers to delaying or dawdling instead of being productive.

  • For example, “Stop lallygagging and start getting ready.”
  • A person might say, “I can’t believe he’s lallygagging instead of doing his homework.”
  • In a work setting, a manager might reprimand an employee, “No more lallygagging on company time.”

59. Slacking

To “slack” means to not work or perform up to standard. It refers to delaying or being lazy instead of putting in effort.

  • For instance, “Stop slacking off and finish your tasks.”
  • A person might complain, “He’s always slacking and making others do his share of the work.”
  • In a team setting, someone might say, “We can’t succeed if anyone is slacking.”

60. Turtling

To “turtle” means to move slowly or delay progress. It refers to the slow and cautious movement of a turtle.

  • For example, “Don’t turtle! We need to get there on time.”
  • A person might say, “She’s turtling again and causing us to be late.”
  • In a project, someone might warn, “We can’t afford any turtling if we want to meet the deadline.”