English Vocabulary


to defer

I don't understand the sentence:
"I'll have to defer to my boss on this one: I'm just an intern."
What is the translation of defer in this sentence?

3 comments

  • I hadn't known this either until I looked it up. Thanks for bringing this question up, I've learnt something new.


    'to defer to sb.' means to bow to somebody's arguments or opinion, to yield to somebody's opinion, or, a little more subjecting, to kowtow or to subject to somebody else, either because he has authority or his arguments are better.


    In this context it means as an intern the person 'accepts (more or less subjecting) his boss's opinion, simply because he is the boss (even if the boss' opinion is bollocks)
  • It can mean that, Head Gasket, or else it can just mean that the intern allows the boss to respond to the question that has been asked.
  • That it is exactly what the definition I have given includes, Sammy B. You are right insofar that letting a raised question be answered by the boss is an example of "to defer sth. to sb.".


    But you're wrong in assuming that is a different definition. You have merely given an example, Sammy B. not an alternative meaning.


    Thanks anyway for giving a vivid picture.

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