[ leyt ]
See synonyms for: latelastlaterlatest on

adjective,lat·er, 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.

  1. near or at the end of day or well into the night: a late hour.

  2. 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.

  3. immediately preceding the present one; former: the late attorney general.

  4. recently deceased: the late Mr. Phipps.

  5. occurring at an advanced stage in life: a late marriage.

  6. 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.

  1. at or to an advanced time, period, or stage: The flowers keep their blossoms late in warm climates.

  2. recently but no longer: a man late of Chicago, now living in Philadelphia.

Idioms about late

  1. of late, lately; recently: The days have been getting warmer of late.

Origin of late

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”

synonym study For late

4. See modern.

Other words for late

Other words from late

  • lateness, noun
  • o·ver·late, adjective
  • o·ver·late·ness, noun

Words that may be confused with late

Words Nearby late Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use late in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for late


/ (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

  1. (prenominal) towards or near the end: the late evening

  2. at an advanced time in the evening or at night: it was late

  3. (prenominal) occurring or being just previous to the present time: his late remarks on industry

  4. (prenominal) having died, esp recently: my late grandfather

  5. (prenominal) just preceding the present or existing person or thing; former: the late manager of this firm

  6. of late recently; lately

  1. after the correct or expected time: he arrived late

  2. at a relatively advanced age: she married late

  1. recently; lately: as late as yesterday he was selling books

  2. late hours rising and going to bed later than is usual

  3. late in the day

    • at a late or advanced stage

    • too late

Origin of late

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

usage For late

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

Derived forms of late

  • lateness, 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with late


In addition to the idioms beginning with late

  • late in life
  • late in the day

also see:

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

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.