I have two questions.

  • Is there a noun for something which should be deferred?
  • What would be the opposite for something which should be "fetched later"?
  • 3
    What do you mean by "deferred" and "fetch later"? Could you please give some examples?
    – Thursagen
    Commented Jun 29, 2011 at 11:17
  • You defer something if you do not do it right now but later.
    – ceving
    Commented Jun 29, 2011 at 11:41
  • 1
    Does it have to be an noun? If its a class name, would an adjective suffice? "Deferred" or "Postponed" sound like class names to me.
    – qdjm
    Commented Jul 13, 2012 at 17:00
  • 3
    Can you give an example sentence showing how you would use the words you're looking for?
    – ruakh
    Commented Jul 13, 2012 at 17:24
  • 1
    Have you perhaps mistyped something in your second question? Surely the opposite of "something which should be deferred" isn't "something which should be fetched later" - it's "something which should be fetched immediately". Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 23:24

11 Answers 11


It's not exactly an everyday word, but deferrable - [item] capable of or suitable or eligible for being deferred is listed as a noun by Merriam-Webster.

Here are some instances in print from Google Books (and some deferables), where OP might be gratified to see that the antonym non-deferrables is also used.

The fact that it's not common isn't an issue - the meaning should be obvious on first encounter. Contexts vary, but often a deferable (my preferred spelling) means a "major purchase" (car, house, etc.) that can be delayed if money is tight - as opposed to non-deferables (food, toilet paper, etc.).

  • I think we have a winner here. Still, I’d have thought that that would have been spelled referrible, as in inferrible. The online OED3 does indeed attest referrible as an adjective, but says it’s now “rare” for the deferable spelling. The latest citation given is from 1945: “It is not possible to carry out the proof without using proofs referrible to a particular domain of knowledge.” That sounds, and looks, perfectly fine to me. Regarding ible-vs-able, they also have an 1873 citation for intransferrible instead of intransferable.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 14:40
  • @tchrist: I don't know where you find justification for inferrible. Per this NGram, both inferrable (and the more normal inferable) are streets ahead of either version with an "i" (which I have to say both look terrable to me! :) Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 16:36
  • I think you may be making a false inferance there.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 23:05
  • 1
    I would expect that ‑ent, ‑ence, and ‑ible words derived from the same root tend to go together, just as ‑ant, ‑ance, and ‑able words similarly derived also tend to go together. I would expect a double-r because it is inferred, referred, and deferred. And I couldn’t give a rat’s patute about a sloppy popularity contest overruling common sense and historical accuracy. There is often a hidden method to the apparent madness of English spelling, and those who muck with it out of ignorance do violence to those few strands of reason holding little pieces of it together.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 23:49
  • 1
    I bet you’re the guy responsible for giving us the disgustingly deranged HTTP_REFERER instead of the correct spelling in the eponymous protocol. Rimnods.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jul 17, 2012 at 0:08

I would just refer to something that has been deferred as "the deferred".

"Defer" can be used on a wide range of things e.g. Decisions, tasks, chores, events, and so, the common practice would be to add "defer" before the thing:

Deferred task
Deferred decision


  • I do not need to describe anything specific which is deferred. Instead I am looking for a word for anything deferred.
    – ceving
    Commented Jul 4, 2011 at 8:48

What about shelved?

: to put off or aside [shelve a project]

From another dictionary:

: to put aside or postpone from consideration

  • It seems to me that the meaning is a bit like sorted.
    – ceving
    Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 11:32
  • 1
    I respectfully disagree. Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 12:30
  • As an example for shelved the sentence "The books were shelved according to category." is given. Isn't this some kind of sorting?
    – ceving
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 9:41

I don't think there is a single word for either of these concepts. Possibly "restoree" might fit for something which had been deferred but has now been fetched, but that's not quite what you are asking for.

I would normally call something which should be deferred "something which should be deferred". Beyond that, I would have to start artificially constructing words like "deferand", which I don't think would help.

  • SomethingWhichShouldBeDeferred is a bit long as a class name ;-)
    – ceving
    Commented Jun 25, 2012 at 15:02

Here are my suggestions:

  1. back burner = reduced priority; put aside for the time being, as a subject that is not of immediate concern but that may be activated later; postponed

Although this word is often used inside the phrase "on the back burner," it also has a Verb form and would be enough to suit your need for a "class name"

  1. ancillary = the meaning of "ancillary" as an Adjective is precise: "of secondary importance."

As a Noun, it means a subsidiary or auxiliary thing.


In the world of college admissions, a student who should be deferred would be waitlisted.

I know of no inverse of waitlisted.

  • "Expedited" as an antinym to "waitlisted".
    – Wolf5370
    Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 9:03
  • OP would be looking for the inverse of "waitlisted." Would a student who was waitlisted be placed in an "expedited" category? If this were a Finite State Automaton, I think a student's application could go from (1) applied to (2) waitlisted to (9) accepted. Or from (1) applied to (3) expedited to (9) accepted. But probably not (1) applied to (2) waitlisted to (3) expedited to (9) accepted.
    – rajah9
    Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 14:31
  • I saw nothing from the Op with regard to progression - merely antonyms and synonyms. To me, if a student is waitlisted, he is put in a pending list (like standby for air tickets, perhaps). However, if the student is a must have (must fetch now), then he is to be expedited.
    – Wolf5370
    Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 15:14
  • The OP asked for "fetched later," which I took to be the opposite of deferred. A student who was waitlisted is not likely to be expedited later. However, I do like your "pending" list: being placed on pending status sounds closer to the thought of "fetched later."
    – rajah9
    Commented Jul 17, 2012 at 15:47

The question seeks a noun for "something which should be deferred", or "something which should be fetched later", and also seeks a word having opposite meaning. I'll present pairs of words that are apposite and opposite, even if not always nouns. Also, as other answerers have done, I'll mostly ignore the should of the question, and instead offer terms for something that is deferred.

masses ("lower classes") and elite ("choicest or most select of a group")
sidetracked or sidelined and mainlined
waiters and rushees, used figuratively
NIP (not-important person [possibly a neologism]) and VIP (very-important person)
backlog ("accumulation or buildup, especially of unfilled orders or unfinished work") and expedited ("accelerated; executed or dispatched quickly").

Summary: backlog may serve well for "something that is deferred", and elite for "something that is expedited". They are opposites of other terms mentioned; but not being apposite, are not opposites of each other.


Oppsite of something that should be "fetched later"...

"of immediate importance" / "of immediate import"














"of less importance" / "of less import"

"unexpeditable" (although this would mean Can't hasten rather than shouldn't.)


How about "Raincheck"? - not sure whether it fits in.


In answer to the title question, perhaps "continuance" or "contingency" would work. Although the first word has a specific definition in legal practice, it can easily be extended to other matters as well.

  1. Is there a noun for something which should be deferred?
    • You could just call it the deferred, but as far as a specific noun, not that I know of. I suppose you could call it a deferand, deferree, the deferred, etc. I think deferand sounds pretty good. Actually, if it's the title of a list, you could just say "things deferred", or more generic yet would be "stuff deferred".
  2. What would be the opposite for something which should be "fetched later"?
    • That would be something that needs to be "gotten now", as a title "things to get now".

That said, when you can't find related words, find a synonym and start exploring those words. You will probably come up with something eventually.

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