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adjective, time·li·er, time·li·est.
  1. occurring at a suitable time; seasonable; opportune; well-timed: a timely warning.
  2. Archaic. early.
  1. seasonably; opportunely.
  2. Archaic. early or soon.

Origin of timely

before 1000; Middle English tim(e)liche, Old English tīmlīce (adv.). See time, -ly
Related formstime·li·ness, nounpre·time·li·ness, nounpre·time·ly, adjective

Synonyms for timely

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

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British Dictionary definitions for timely


adjective, adverb -lier or -liest
  1. at the right or an opportune or appropriate time
  2. an archaic word for early
Derived Formstimeliness, noun
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 timely

late Old English, from time (n.). As an adjective meaning "occurring at a suitable time" it is attested from c.1200.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper