- occurring, coming, or being after the usual or proper time: late frosts; a late spring.
- continued until after the usual time or hour; protracted: a late business meeting.
- near or at the end of day or well into the night: a late hour.
- belonging to the time just before the present moment; most recent: a late news bulletin.
- immediately preceding the present one; former: the late attorney general.
- recently deceased: the late Mr. Phipps.
- occurring at an advanced stage in life: a late marriage.
- belonging to an advanced period or stage in the history or development of something: the late phase of feudalism.
- after the usual or proper time, or after delay: to arrive late.
- until after the usual time or hour; until an advanced hour, especially of the night: to work late.
- at or to an advanced time, period, or stage: The flowers keep their blossoms late in warm climates.
- recently but no longer: a man late of Chicago, now living in Philadelphia.
- of late, lately; recently: The days have been getting warmer of late.
Origin of late
Synonyms for late
- 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
- 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
- at a late or advanced stage
- too late
Word Origin for late
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.
In addition to the idioms beginning with late
- late in life
- late in the day
- at the latest
- better late than never
- keep late hours
- of late
- the latest
- too little, too late
Also see underlater.