You go to a store and buy a product that sounds like it's the best deal. But then you get it home, and it doesn't deliver.

What does deliver mean here? Does it mean It doesn't work as you expected?

closed as off-topic by Edwin Ashworth, Misti, choster, Drew, Brian Hooper Mar 12 '15 at 13:34

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  • Deliver : to do what you promised to do or what you are expected to do; to produce or provide what people expect you to (OALD) – choster Mar 11 '15 at 1:45

Yes. The implication is that it did not "deliver on" its promise; that it did not live up to expectations. Maybe it "worked", but not as advertised. In any case, It did not perform as you had hoped.


Let's consult a dictionary. Obviously, in your example sentence, the verb deliver is used intransitively. Therefore, we skip all the meanings listed under transitive verb and get to:

intransitive verb

: to produce the promised, desired, or expected results


  • As the OED will confirm the verb deliver has multiple meanings, the first being to 'set free' or 'liberate'. The actual, slightly metaphorical, sense to which this question relates is actually meaning 8(d). Its first example of use is from this interesting quotation from 1959: 1959 F. Astaire Steps in Time (1960) xxi. 244, I have a horror of not delivering—making good, so to speak; and I can't stand the thought of letting everybody down—studio and public as well as myself – WS2 Mar 10 '15 at 13:39

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