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[uhn-tahym-lee] /ʌnˈtaɪm li/
adjective, untimelier, untimeliest.
not timely; not occurring at a suitable time or season; ill-timed or inopportune:
An untimely downpour stopped the game.
happening too soon or too early; premature:
his untimely demise.
Origin of untimely
First recorded in 1150-1200, untimely is from the Middle English word untimliche. See un-1, timely
Related forms
untimeliness, noun
1. unseasonable, inappropriate, inconvenient, unsuitable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for untimely
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • All untimely bereavement is, of course, not of the nature of the above illustration.

  • Therefore, I dismiss the fear of untimely separation from my appointed work.

  • He seems to have wished the world to accept this version of his untimely marriage.

    The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris
  • Were he to die while I am speaking, we could not pronounce it an untimely death.

    Time's Portraiture Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Our lamb was black: and at the hour of his untimely death a storm was coming up.

    It Happened in Egypt C. N. Williamson
British Dictionary definitions for untimely


occurring before the expected, normal, or proper time: an untimely death
inappropriate to the occasion, time, or season: his joking at the funeral was most untimely
prematurely or inopportunely
Derived Forms
untimeliness, noun
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 untimely

1530s, "coming before the proper or usual time," from un- (1) "not" + timely. Cf. Middle Danish utimelig, of weather, etc.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with untimely
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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