adjective, un·time·li·er, un·time·li·est.

not timely; not occurring at a suitable time or season; ill-timed or inopportune: An untimely downpour stopped the game.
happening too soon or too early; premature: his untimely demise.


Origin of untimely

First recorded in 1150–1200, untimely is from the Middle English word untimliche. See un-1, timely
Related formsun·time·li·ness, noun

Synonyms for untimely

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

Examples from the Web for untimeliness

Historical Examples of untimeliness

  • They hold their jubilees in weeds rather; and the untimeliness of genius is the tragedy of life as of letters.


    Amos Bronson Alcott

  • Most certainly, the results of the carrying out of that project were such as to prove all that they claimed of its untimeliness.

    Glimpses of Three Coasts

    Helen Hunt Jackson

  • At the tone of this question Mrs. Skene suddenly realized the untimeliness of her complaints.

    Cashel Byron's Profession

    George Bernard Shaw

British Dictionary definitions for untimeliness



occurring before the expected, normal, or proper timean untimely death
inappropriate to the occasion, time, or seasonhis joking at the funeral was most untimely


prematurely or inopportunely
Derived Formsuntimeliness, 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 untimeliness



1530s, "coming before the proper or usual time," from un- (1) "not" + timely. Cf. Middle Danish utimelig, of weather, etc.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with untimeliness


see come to an (untimely) end.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.