For example when you stop doing one thing before it's finished, and start something else because you, or someone else, considers it more important than the thing you were doing. The thing you was doing is now less important than this new thing that needs doing.

I am trying to think of a heading for list of things like this, things have been dropped half way through to start something else "more important", but still need finishing at some point.

De-prioritised is not the correct word for this in my opinion, as you can de-prioritise jobs that haven't yet been started, or may never be started. I am after a word that clearly gets across that I was in the middle of a job that is now sitting half done because I started something "more important".

  • 1
    Nobody seems to have suggested marginalise. Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 16:36
  • Deemphasize would also work.
    – brianary
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 3:24

9 Answers 9


Deprioritize/deprioritized and abandoned come to mind when I think of a list of items in this manner. Example would be "The Deprioritized List of _" or "The Abandoned _"
After seeing your comment I would simply suggest interrupted.

  • "Low priority" might also work.
    – chapka
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 15:10
  • 1
    Interrupted is on the money in my opinion. Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 16:03

Postponed Tasks

1. to put off to a later time; defer:
2. to place after in order of importance or estimation; subordinate

  • I like this, but it doesn't quite get across that I was in the middle of it, and now it's sitting half done. I could postpone jobs that haven't been started yet for example. Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 15:55
  • In that case, I would go with suspended. Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 16:05

The following might also be good headings if you're looking for something less formal:

On hold-- Paused. Connotations that the event/task is ready to initiate or resume and has been intentionally postponed. (Also used to describe a state of interminable limbo hell on the telephone.)

Set aside-- Removed from the focal point. Similar to cast-off, trashed, or discarded, but holds the possibility of the item/task being restored to its former place. (Can also describe when something is saved or reserved for a special purpose.)

Later-- As opposed to right now. This one doesn't indicate that the task has already been started as well as the other two do.

All along the same lines as @Chris Sunami's popular "Postponed".

  • Hi Captain. You might want to edit this post to provide a more explicit definition. Also, possibly example usage. I'd recommend useing italics or bolding, rather than quote marks to highlight the terms.
    – dwjohnston
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 23:37
  • Thanks Johnston. Since they're pretty idiomatic I opted to just give my own interpretation and (where necessary) an example/warning of alternate meaning.
    – lhuber
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 22:33

Superseded? In the context of "The superseded"

  • 2
    I upvoted this answer, but I do think it has connotations of something that has been completely removed from the queue, rather than just delayed. Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 15:13

"Downgraded Priorities" can describe the now lesser-important tasks and projects.


As this is related to programming workflow, a computer term would probably be in order.

From Wikipedia:

In computing, preemption is the act of temporarily interrupting a task being carried out by a computer system, without requiring its cooperation, and with the intention of resuming the task at a later time. Such a change is known as a context switch.

URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preemption_(computing)

Pre-empted could probably serve as the status label for a task that has been pre-empted by a new task.

Preemption List or Pre-empted Tasks could probably be the heading for a list of such tasks.

Hope this helps.

  • I like this, but it is not as immediately clear as the word interrupted. I am probably going to use both. Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 16:05
  • Not a problem. Glad that you found the word you were looking for. 'Interrupted' certainly is a clearer option. I suggested pre-emption because you had mentioned that you wanted to resume the task later on. If you remember the euphoric days during the release of Windows 95, there was a lot of talk about its pre-emptive multi-tasking. Pre-emptive multitasking meant that if you opened a new program, it got priority over already-running tasks but those tasks would be resumed in a later slice of the processor cycle. Congrats on running a pretty active thread with great interaction.
    – user82373
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 7:30

You could say that the second thing "took priority" over the first thing. You could call a list of things like this a "priority list".


  • a thing that is regarded as more important than another. "housework didn't figure high on her list of priorities"
  • the fact or condition of being regarded or treated as more important. "the safety of the country takes priority over any other matter"
  • synonyms: prime concern, most important consideration, primary issue More the right to take precedence or to proceed before others. "priority is given to those with press passes"
  • Thank for this, but I am looking for a title for the stuff that got taken over by this priority list. Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 14:43
  • Well what are the statuses of those things? You could call them "on hold" or "pending" or "queued", depending on the context of who's seeing this label. Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 14:44
  • This is regarding programming workflow, I already have list of things "on hold" or "pending" etc... I need something that clearly gets across that I was right in the middle of working on this, and it got bumped so now it's over here half done... Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 14:47
  • That sounds like an "interrupted to-do list" then. Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 14:49
  • @superphonic, since it is related to programming workflow, the exact computer-technology term for this is "preemption". I am adding an answer to this effect now...
    – user82373
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 15:20

To contrast a list of 'High-Priority' tasks which you'd be focusing on, have you considered titling this list simply 'Nonessential Tasks'? At first glance my ear told me 'Inessential' would be a better fit, but according to this question, nonessential would be more appropriate for your situation.


The word I would use is "relativized" to refer to diminished relative importance.

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