Dilatory plea(Law), a plea designed to create delay in the trial of a cause, generally founded upon some matter not connected with the merits of the case.

Syn. — Slow; delaying; sluggish; inactive; loitering; behindhand; backward; procrastinating. See Slow.

(Dil"do) n. A burden in popular songs. [Obs.]

Delicate burthens of dildos and fadings.

(Dil"do), n. (Bot.) A columnar cactaceous plant of the West Indies (Cereus Swartzii).

(Di*lec"tion) n. [L. dilectio: dilection. See Diligent.] Love; choice. [Obs.] T. Martin.

(Di*lem"ma) n. [L. dilemma, Gr. di- = di`s- twice + to take. See Lemma.]

1. (Logic) An argument which presents an antagonist with two or more alternatives, but is equally conclusive against him, whichever alternative he chooses.

The following are instances of the dilemma. A young rhetorician applied to an old sophist to be taught the art of pleading, and bargained for a certain reward to be paid when he should gain a cause. The master sued for his reward, and the scholar endeavored to lude his claim by a dilemma. "If I gain my cause, I shall withhold your pay, because the judge's award will be against you; if I lose it, I may withhold it, because I shall not yet have gained a cause." "On the contrary," says the master, "if you gain your cause, you must pay me, because you are to pay me when you gain a cause; if you lose it, you must pay me, because the judge will award it." Johnson.

2. A state of things in which evils or obstacles present themselves on every side, and it is difficult to determine what course to pursue; a vexatious alternative or predicament; a difficult choice or position.

A strong dilemma in a desperate case!
To act with infamy, or quit the place.

(Di*lat"ive) a. Causing dilation; tending to dilate, on enlarge; expansive. Coleridge.

(Dil`a*tom"e*ter) n. [Dilate + -meter.] (Physiol.) An instrument for measuring the dilatation or expansion of a substance, especially of a fluid.

(Di*lat"or) n. [See Dilate.]

1. One who, or that which, widens or expands.

2. (Anat.) A muscle that dilates any part.

3. (Med.) An instrument for expanding a part; as, a urethral dilator.

(Dil"a*to*ri*ly) adv. With delay; tardily.

(Dil"a*to*ri*ness), n. The quality of being dilatory; lateness; slowness; tardiness; sluggishness.

(Dil"a*to*ry) a. [L. dilatorius, fr. dilator a delayer, fr. dilatus, used as p. p. of differe to defer, delay: cf. F. dilatoire. See Dilate, Differ, Defer.]

1. Inclined to defer or put off what ought to be done at once; given the procrastination; delaying; procrastinating; loitering; as, a dilatory servant.

2. Marked by procrastination or delay; tardy; slow; sluggish; — said of actions or measures.

Alva, as usual, brought his dilatory policy to bear upon his adversary.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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