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See more synonyms for tardy on Thesaurus.com
adjective, tar·di·er, tar·di·est.
  1. late; behind time; not on time: How tardy were you today?
  2. moving or acting slowly; slow; sluggish.
  3. delaying through reluctance.
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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


See more synonyms for tardy on Thesaurus.com
1. slack. 3. dilatory.


1. prompt.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tardiness

Historical Examples

  • Tardiness is reported to be much less in home credit schools.

    School Credit for Home Work

    Lewis Raymond Alderman

  • Tardiness is a disappointment and an interruption; a kind of falsehood and theft of time.

    The Choctaw Freedmen

    Robert Elliott Flickinger

  • Tardiness on the part of any pupil doing the work meant a loss of so many credits already accumulated.

    School Credit for Home Work

    Lewis Raymond Alderman

British Dictionary definitions for tardiness


adjective -dier or -diest
  1. occurring later than expectedtardy retribution
  2. slow in progress, growth, etca tardy reader
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Derived Formstardily, adverbtardiness, noun

Word Origin

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 tardiness



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper