defer (v.1) Look up defer at
"to delay," late 14c., differren, deferren, from Old French differer (14c.), from Latin differre "carry apart, scatter, disperse;" also "be different, differ;" also "defer, put off, postpone," (see differ). Etymologically identical with differ; the spelling and pronunciation differentiated from 15c., perhaps partly by association of this word with delay.
defer (v.2) Look up defer at
"yield," mid-15c., from Middle French déférer (14c.) "to yield, comply," from Latin deferre "carry away, transfer, grant," from de- "down, away" (see de-) + ferre "carry" (see infer). Main modern sense is from meaning "refer (a matter) to someone," which also was in Latin.