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See also: Confer



From Early Modern English conferre, from Middle French conférer, from Old French conferer, from Latin cōnferō. Compare Dutch confereren (to confer), German konferieren (to confer), Danish konferere (to confer), Swedish konferera (to confer).



confer (third-person singular simple present confers, present participle conferring, simple past and past participle conferred)

  1. (transitive) To grant as a possession; to bestow. [from 16th c.]
    The college has conferred an honorary degree upon the visiting Prime Minister.
    • (Can we date this quote by Milton?)
      the public marks of honour and reward conferred upon me
    • 2010, Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer, 7 Feb 2010:
      The special immunities that are conferred on MPs were framed with the essential purpose of allowing them to speak freely in parliament.
  2. (intransitive) To talk together, to consult, discuss; to deliberate. [from 16th c.]
    They were in a huddle, conferring about something.
    • 1974, "A Traveler's Perils", Time, 25 Mar 1974:
      Local buttons popped when Henry Kissinger visited Little Rock last month to confer with Fulbright on the Middle East oil talks.
  3. (obsolete, intransitive) To compare. [16th–18th c.]
    • 1557 (book title):
      The Newe Testament ... Conferred diligently with the Greke, and best approued translations.
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970, partition II, section 3, member 1, subsection i:
      Confer thine estate with others […]. Be content and rest satisfied, for thou art well in respect to others […].
    • (Can we date this quote by Boyle?)
      If we confer these observations with others of the like nature, we may find cause to rectify the general opinion.
  4. (obsolete, transitive) To bring together; to collect, gather. [16th–17th c.]
  5. (obsolete, intransitive) To contribute; to conduce. [16th–18th c.]
    • (Can we date this quote by Glanvill?)
      The closeness and compactness of the parts resting together doth much confer to the strength of the union.


  • (to grant, bestow, or contribute): afford

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See also[edit]





  1. second-person singular present active imperative of cōnferō