Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

late

[leyt]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
adjective, lat·er or lat·ter, lat·est or last.
  1. occurring, coming, or being after the usual or proper time: late frosts; a late spring.
  2. continued until after the usual time or hour; protracted: a late business meeting.
  3. near or at the end of day or well into the night: a late hour.
  4. belonging to the time just before the present moment; most recent: a late news bulletin.
  5. immediately preceding the present one; former: the late attorney general.
  6. recently deceased: the late Mr. Phipps.
  7. occurring at an advanced stage in life: a late marriage.
  8. belonging to an advanced period or stage in the history or development of something: the late phase of feudalism.
adverb, lat·er, lat·est.
  1. after the usual or proper time, or after delay: to arrive late.
  2. until after the usual time or hour; until an advanced hour, especially of the night: to work late.
  3. at or to an advanced time, period, or stage: The flowers keep their blossoms late in warm climates.
  4. recently but no longer: a man late of Chicago, now living in Philadelphia.
Idioms
  1. of late, lately; recently: The days have been getting warmer of late.

Origin of late

before 900; Middle English; Old English læt slow, late; cognate with German lass slothful, Old Norse latr, Gothic lats slow, lazy, Latin lassus tired
Related formslate·ness, nouno·ver·late, adjectiveo·ver·late·ness, noun
Can be confusedformer later latter

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. tardy; slow, dilatory; delayed, belated. 4. See modern.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for late

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Since he went to Salamis in search of you, I have not seen him until late this evening.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • Have you not of late struggled against the warnings of this friendly spirit?

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • They walked rapidly to the station, but too late, of course, for the train.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Made rather a late start, owing to some of the horses straying.

  • It was a very good season, but the expedition was too late in starting.


British Dictionary definitions for late

late

adjective
  1. occurring or arriving after the correct or expected timethe train was late
  2. (prenominal) occurring, scheduled for, or being at a relatively advanced timea late marriage
  3. (prenominal) towards or near the endthe late evening
  4. at an advanced time in the evening or at nightit was late
  5. (prenominal) occurring or being just previous to the present timehis late remarks on industry
  6. (prenominal) having died, esp recentlymy late grandfather
  7. (prenominal) just preceding the present or existing person or thing; formerthe late manager of this firm
  8. of late recently; lately
adverb
  1. after the correct or expected timehe arrived late
  2. at a relatively advanced ageshe married late
  3. recently; latelyas late as yesterday he was selling books
  4. late hours rising and going to bed later than is usual
  5. late in the day
    1. at a late or advanced stage
    2. too late
Derived Formslateness, noun

Word Origin

Old English læt; related to Old Norse latr, Gothic lats

usage

Since late can mean deceased, many people think it is better to avoid using this word to refer to the person who held a post or position before its present holder: the previous (not the late) editor of The Times
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for late

adj.

Old English læt "occurring after the customary or expected time," originally "slow, sluggish," from Proto-Germanic *lata- (cf. Old Norse latr "sluggish, lazy," Middle Dutch, Old Saxon lat, German laß "idle, weary," Gothic lats "weary, sluggish, lazy," latjan "to hinder"), from PIE *led- "slow, weary" (cf. Latin lassus "faint, weary, languid, exhausted," Greek ledein "to be weary"), from root *le- "to let go, slacken" (see let (v.)).

The sense of "deceased" (as in the late Mrs. Smith) is from late 15c., from an adverbial sense of "recently." Of women's menstrual periods, attested colloquially from 1962. Related: Lateness. As an adverb, from Old English late.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with late

late

In addition to the idioms beginning with late

also see:

Also see underlater.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

  • About
  • Cookies, Terms, & Privacy
© 2018 Dictionary.com, LLC.