c. 1300, delaien, "to put off, postpone;" late 14c., "to put off or hinder for a time," from Old French delaiier, from de- "away, from" (see de-) + laier "leave, let." This is perhaps a variant of Old French laissier, from Latin laxare "slacken, undo" (see lax). But Watkins has it from Frankish *laibjan, from a Proto-Germanic causative form of PIE root *leip- "to stick, adhere." Intransitive sense of "linger, move slowly" is from c. 1500. Related: Delayed; delaying.