View synonyms for late


[ leyt ]


, lat·er, lat·est or last.
  1. occurring, coming, or being after the usual or proper time: a late spring.

    late frosts;

    a late spring.

    Synonyms: belated, delayed, dilatory, slow, tardy

  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;

    The car is a late model, but I don't know the exact year.

  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.


, 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.


/ leɪt /


  1. occurring or arriving after the correct or expected time

    the train was late

  2. prenominal occurring, scheduled for, or being at a relatively advanced time

    a late marriage

  3. prenominal towards or near the end

    the late evening

  4. at an advanced time in the evening or at night

    it was late

  5. prenominal occurring or being just previous to the present time

    his late remarks on industry

  6. prenominal having died, esp recently

    my late grandfather

  7. prenominal just preceding the present or existing person or thing; former

    the late manager of this firm

  8. of late
    recently; lately


  1. after the correct or expected time

    he arrived late

  2. at a relatively advanced age

    she married late

  3. recently; lately

    as 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

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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

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Derived Forms

  • ˈlateness, noun

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Other Words From

  • lateness noun
  • over·late adjective
  • over·lateness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of late1

First recorded before 900; Middle English; Old English læt “slow, late”; cognate with German lass “slothful,” Old Norse latr, Gothic lats “slow, lazy,” Latin lassus “tired”

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Word History and Origins

Origin of late1

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

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. of late, lately; recently:

    The days have been getting warmer of late.

More idioms and phrases containing late

  • at the latest
  • better late than never
  • Johnny-come-lately
  • keep late hours
  • of late
  • the latest
  • too little, too late
  • later

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Synonym Study

See modern.

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Example Sentences

Whenever I travel, I like to start the adventure with oysters, which my late friend, Seattle seafood maven Jon Rowley, advocated.

Two games before that lopsided result, Virginia rallied from an 11-point deficit in the second half and held off a late surge to secure a 64-62 victory over the Yellow Jackets at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville.

Arlington Public Schools and Prince William County Public Schools both agreed to add holidays for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Diwali and Eid al-Fitr in late 2020.

The latest request noted that the agency has obtained about 86 million anonymized records of residential utility usage in the city from January 2015 through 2019 to facilitate the study.

That’s what makes “The Lady and the Dale” much more than just the latest must-watch distraction on streaming TV.

I remember H. Jon Benjamin told me it was a way-too-late apology for Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

At the moment, the only chance I get is when I go do Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Are you bi-coastal now, between Portlandia and Late Night with Seth Meyers?

Late Wednesday night, French authorities reported that Mourad had surrendered to police, while the two brothers remained at large.

As he tried to make his way through a crowd of mourners late last month, he looked preoccupied and even disoriented.

The strains of the syren at last woke her uncle, and brought back Miss Hood, who suggested that it was late.

The plant as a whole remains green until late in the autumn.

But, there was also another which might not be quite so pleasing to Elizabeth, although Louis felt it came too late for him.

In 1856 she married Mesdag, who, rather late in life decided to follow the career of a painter.

He explains the late departure of the ships for Nueva España, and the consequent mortality reported on one of them.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




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