late

[leyt]

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

adverb, lat·er, lat·est.


Idioms

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

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

Synonyms for late

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


British Dictionary definitions for of late

late

adjective

occurring or arriving after the correct or expected timethe train was late
(prenominal) occurring, scheduled for, or being at a relatively advanced timea late marriage
(prenominal) towards or near the endthe late evening
at an advanced time in the evening or at nightit was late
(prenominal) occurring or being just previous to the present timehis late remarks on industry
(prenominal) having died, esp recentlymy late grandfather
(prenominal) just preceding the present or existing person or thing; formerthe late manager of this firm
of late recently; lately

adverb

after the correct or expected timehe arrived late
at a relatively advanced ageshe married late
recently; latelyas late as yesterday he was selling books
late hours rising and going to bed later than is usual
late in the day
  1. at a late or advanced stage
  2. too late
Derived Formslateness, noun

Word Origin for late

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

usage

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 of late

late

adj.

Old English læt "occurring after the customary or expected time," originally "slow, sluggish," from Proto-Germanic *lata- (cf. Old Norse latr "sluggish, lazy," Middle Dutch, Old Saxon lat, German laß "idle, weary," Gothic lats "weary, sluggish, lazy," latjan "to hinder"), from PIE *led- "slow, weary" (cf. Latin lassus "faint, weary, languid, exhausted," Greek ledein "to be weary"), from root *le- "to let go, slacken" (see let (v.)).

The sense of "deceased" (as in the late Mrs. Smith) is from late 15c., from an adverbial sense of "recently." Of women's menstrual periods, attested colloquially from 1962. Related: Lateness. As an adverb, from Old English late.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with of late

of late

Recently, lately, as in She's been very quiet of late; is something wrong? This idiom uses late as a noun instead of an adjective, a usage dating from about 1250. The idiom dates from the early 1400s.

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.