adjective, tar·di·er, tar·di·est.

late; behind time; not on time: How tardy were you today?
moving or acting slowly; slow; sluggish.
delaying through reluctance.

Origin of tardy

1475–85; earlier tardive, tardif < Old French < Vulgar Latin *tardīvus, equivalent to Latin tard(us) slow + -īvus -ive
Related formstar·di·ly, adverbtar·di·ness, noun

Synonyms for tardy

1. slack. 3. dilatory.

Antonyms for tardy

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

Examples from the Web for tardily

Historical Examples of tardily

  • Tardily, indeed, he appears to have acknowledged the contradiction.


    R. W. Church

  • Tardily enough he now succumbed to the silent entreaties of his wife.


    Sax Rohmer

  • Tardily and unwillingly the Jew untied the handkerchief, and revealed a diamond diadem of extraordinary magnificence.

  • Tardily the men advanced, and any acute observer would have seen they had little heart in the business.

    War and the Weird

    Forbes Phillips

  • Tardily she made approach, blushing with increasing loveliness, and appeared in the presence of the princes.

    Indian Myth and Legend

    Donald Alexander Mackenzie

British Dictionary definitions for tardily


adjective -dier or -diest

occurring later than expectedtardy retribution
slow in progress, growth, etca tardy reader
Derived Formstardily, adverbtardiness, noun

Word Origin for tardy

C15: from Old French tardif, from Latin tardus slow
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 tardily



late 14c. (implied in tardity), from Old French tardif (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *tardivus, from Latin tardus "slow, sluggish, dull, stupid," of unknown origin. Related: Tardily; tardiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper