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[tahr-dee] /ˈtɑr di/
adjective, tardier, tardiest.
late; behind time; not on time:
How tardy were you today?
moving or acting slowly; slow; sluggish.
delaying through reluctance.
Origin of tardy
1475-85; earlier tardive, tardif < Old French < Vulgar Latin *tardīvus, equivalent to Latin tard(us) slow + -īvus -ive
Related forms
tardily, adverb
tardiness, noun
1. slack. 3. dilatory.
1. prompt. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for tardy
Historical Examples
  • "tardy obedience is of the house of mutiny," I said sternly.

    To Have and To Hold Mary Johnston
  • tardy recollection that she was altogether too heavy for comfort brought her to her feet.

  • tardy is applied to that which is behind the proper or desired time, especially in doing a work or arriving at a place.

    English Synonyms and Antonyms James Champlin Fernald
  • tardy restitution given to a long-suffering people; late righting of an ancient wrong!

    Vacation days in Greece Rufus B. Richardson
  • tardy employees approached their work joyously, not stealthily, as is the normal custom of such miscreants.

    The Triumph of Virginia Dale John Francis, Jr.
  • tardy I might be, but it was hardly conceivable that my presence aboard the rocket could have averted the catastrophe.

    The Worlds of If Stanley Grauman Weinbaum
  • tardy and insufficient amends, which reveal the weakness of authority, as well as the resistance with which it was opposed!

    Memoirs To Illustrate The History Of My Time Franois Pierre Guillaume Guizot
  • tardy decision was the stumbling-block in the path of this well meaning man.

    The Grey Cloak

    Harold MacGrath
British Dictionary definitions for tardy


adjective -dier, -diest
occurring later than expected: tardy retribution
slow in progress, growth, etc: a tardy reader
Derived Forms
tardily, adverb
tardiness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French tardif, from Latin tardus slow
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
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Word Origin and History for tardy

late 14c. (implied in tardity), from Old French tardif (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *tardivus, from Latin tardus "slow, sluggish, dull, stupid," of unknown origin. Related: Tardily; tardiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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