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 untimely

Contemporary Examples of untimely

Historical Examples of untimely

  • All untimely bereavement is, of course, not of the nature of the above illustration.

  • Therefore, I dismiss the fear of untimely separation from my appointed work.

  • He seems to have wished the world to accept this version of his untimely marriage.

  • Were he to die while I am speaking, we could not pronounce it an untimely death.

    Time's Portraiture

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • Our lamb was black: and at the hour of his untimely death a storm was coming up.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

British Dictionary definitions for untimely



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 untimely

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 untimely


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.