[ lei-ter ]
/ ˈlɛɪ tər /


a comparative of late:Her later years were not happy.


a comparative of late: The meeting ran later than we expected.
afterward, subsequently, or at a time in the future (sometimes followed by on): She later said she was sorry. I'll see you later. Let's decide about this later on.

Nearby words

  1. latent stage,
  2. latent strabismus,
  3. latent tetany,
  4. latent time,
  5. latently,
  6. later han,
  7. later on,
  8. laterad,
  9. lateral,
  10. lateral aberration


[ leyt ]
/ leɪt /

adjective, lat·er or lat·ter, lat·est or last.

adverb, lat·er, lat·est.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for later

British Dictionary definitions for later


/ (ˈleɪtə) /

adjective, adverb

the comparative of late


afterwards; subsequently
see you later an expression of farewell
sooner or later eventually; inevitably


/ (leɪt) /



Derived Formslateness, noun

Word Origin for late

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


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 later
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with later


In addition to the idiom beginning with later

  • later on

also see:

  • sooner or later

Also see underlate.


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.