I'm looking for a word or shorter term for "possibly delayed". This is not expressing any probability of a delay, just the capacity to be delayed.

The specific usage I have in mind is: the displayed information may be up-to-the-minute, but if for some reason the connection fails, it will fail back to displaying yesterday's information.

Therefore, this is "possibly delayed information".

Another example would be: You should be sure to order a replacement cartridge well in advance of when you expect the current one to be depleted, since shipping could be possibly delayed.

Shipments are not currently delayed, but the nature of shipments is that they could be either timely or late.

  • For something as important as data, FWIW, I'd forget trying to use a single word that may be subject to misinterpretation and use an asterisk (*) to a disclaimer that clearly states why the displayed data may not be current. Jan 28, 2016 at 20:24
  • Does estimated work? Jan 29, 2016 at 0:53
  • @KristinaLopez I was after a term for internal usage, where brevity is key. The consumer will definitely receive a whole message of explanation and gentle assurances :)
    – friggle
    Jan 29, 2016 at 14:30

6 Answers 6


Perhaps "liable to change"?

I think it depends on the context. You might say that the date is "unsettled" but you wouldn't say that about the arrival of a bus. That's more "variable."

  • I think "variable", as in "variable delay", best captures this! It describes the inherent capacity to change in a single word, and doesn't convey assumptions about what state it is in (like "possibly" does).
    – friggle
    Jan 29, 2016 at 14:26

Consider deferrable that means capable of being deferred or postponed, e.g. a deferrable project.

Example: A deferrable action is an action that an occupant does not necessarily need to perform now. For example, having the dishwasher run during periods of the day with the charge per kWh is less, then resulting in a reduced power bill. Delaying actions that are non-deferrable would cause an inconvenience and discomfort to occupants.


non-current information and non-updated information, come to mind.

  • 1
    Both imply that the data is not updated (or not current) rather than it might not be updated. Jan 28, 2016 at 17:26
  • There are many ways to write this. It depends on what is wanted.
    – Lambie
    Jan 28, 2016 at 17:32

stale is often used to describe data that no longer reflects the actuality.

In a busy transactional environment, a snapshot soon becomes stale.

Don't rely on that report. It was printed two weeks ago. The data will be stale.

  • Stale is a fair synonym here for 'delayed', but I'm seeking a description that conveys the data has the potential to be fresh or stale.
    – friggle
    Jan 28, 2016 at 18:39
  • 1
    possibly stale.... could be stale.... might be stale.... There is no one word that means "could be fresh or stale" Why not call it "natural, with no preservatives"?
    – TimR
    Jan 28, 2016 at 19:44

Laggy information

Cambridge Online Definition:


A laggy ​computer, ​computer ​game, or internet ​connection is ​slow to ​react.

When I someone tells me a game server is laggy, I assume the gameplay is a combination of good fps and bad fps with the later happening in sufficient frequency to be an annoyance.


It seems that most recent works. The information isn't guaranteed to be either fresh or stale, so focusing on that aspect is a bit off.

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