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.
    Synonym: afford
    • 1671, John Milton, Samson Agonistes
      Nor shall I count in hainous to enjoy
      The public marks of honour and reward
      Conferr'd 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.
    • 2014, James Lambert, “Diachronic stability in Indian English lexis”, in World Englishes, page 114:
      The mere existence of a dictionary of a certain variety of English does not automatically confer acceptance of that variety.
  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) To compare. [16th–18th c.]
    • 1557 (book title):
      The Newe Testament ... Conferred diligently with the Greke, and best approued translations.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, →OCLC, 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 […].
    • 1661, Robert Boyle, The Second Essay, of Unsucceeding Experiments
      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) To contribute; to conduce. [16th–18th c.]
    • 1665, Joseph Glanvill, Scepsis Scientifica
      The closeness and compactness of the parts resting together doth much confer to the strength of the union.

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.





  1. second-person singular present active imperative of cōnferō. Often abbreviated cf and used to mean "compare with".