AskDefine | Define late

Dictionary Definition

late adj
1 being or occurring at an advanced period of time or after a usual or expected time; "late evening"; "late 18th century"; "a late movie"; "took a late flight"; "had a late breakfast" [ant: early, middle]
2 after the expected or usual time; delayed; "a belated birthday card"; "I'm late for the plane"; "the train is late"; "tardy children are sent to the principal"; "always tardy in making dental appointments" [syn: belated, tardy]
3 of the immediate past or just previous to the present time; "a late development"; "their late quarrel"; "his recent trip to Africa"; "in recent months"; "a recent issue of the journal" [syn: late(a), recent]
4 having died recently; "her late husband" [syn: late(a)]
5 of a later stage in the development of a language or literature; used especially of dead languages; "Late Greek" [ant: early, middle]
6 at or toward an end or late period or stage of development; "the late phase of feudalism"; "a later symptom of the disease"; "later medical science could have saved the child" [syn: later(a)] [ant: early]
7 (used especially of persons) of the immediate past; "the former president"; "our late President is still very active"; "the previous occupant of the White House" [syn: former(a), late(a), previous(a)] adv
1 later than usual or than expected; "the train arrived late"; "we awoke late"; "the children came late to school"; "notice came so tardily that we almost missed the deadline"; "I belatedly wished her a happy birthday" [syn: belatedly, tardily] [ant: early]
2 to an advanced time; "deep into the night"; "talked late into the evening" [syn: deep]
3 at an advanced age or stage; "she married late"; "undertook the project late in her career"
4 in the recent past; "he was in Paris recently"; "lately the rules have been enforced"; "as late as yesterday she was fine"; "feeling better of late"; "the spelling was first affected, but latterly the meaning also" [syn: recently, lately, of late, latterly]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /leɪt/
  • Rhymes with: -eɪt

Etymology 1

From Middle English late, from læt.


  1. Near the end of a period of time.
    It was late in the evening when we finally arrived.
  2. Specifically, near the end of the day.
    It was getting late and I was tired.
  3. (usually not used comparatively) Associated with the end of a period.
    Late Latin is less fully inflected than classical Latin.
  4. Not arriving until after an expected time.
    Even though we drove as fast as we could, we were still late.
    Panos was so late that he arrived at the meeting after Antonio, who had the valid excuse of being in hospital - in intensive care - for most of the night.
  5. (not used comparatively) Euphemism for deceased, particularly when speaking of the dead person's actions while alive. Often used with the.
    Her late husband had left her well provided for.
    The piece was composed by the late Igor Stravinsky.
near the end of a period of time
near the end of the day
at the end of a period
not arriving until after an expected time
euphemism for dead

Etymology 2

From late


  1. After a deadline has passed, past a designated time.
    We drove as fast as we could, but we still arrived late.
proximate in time



  1. Alternate form of laat.


Related terms

Old English


Adverbial form of læt


  1. late

Extensive Definition

Late may refer to:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

after time, ahead of time, anachronistic, ancient, antedated, arrested, asleep, asleep in Jesus, at rest, back, backward, beforehand, behind, behind time, behindhand, belated, belatedly, bereft of life, blocked, breathless, bygone, called home, carrion, checked, cold, croaked, current, dated, dead, dead and gone, death-struck, deceased, deep into, defunct, delayed, delayed-action, demised, departed, departed this life, destitute of life, detained, dilatory, done for, early, erstwhile, exanimate, extinct, fallen, far on, finished, food for worms, fore, foredated, former, formerly, fresh, gone, gone to glory, gone west, held up, heretofore, hung up, ill-considered, ill-seasoned, ill-timed, immemorial, impeded, improper, in a bind, in abeyance, inanimate, inappropriate, inauspicious, inconvenient, inexpedient, infelicitous, inopportune, intempestive, intrusive, irrelevant, jammed, last, late lamented, lately, later, latish, latter, latterly, launched into eternity, lifeless, mal a propos, malapropos, martyred, metachronistic, misdated, mistimed, moratory, never on time, new, newly come, no more, none too soon, obstructed, of late, of yesterday, off base, old, olden, once, onetime, out of date, out of line, out of phase, out of season, out of time, overdue, parachronistic, passed on, past, past due, postdated, preceding, prehistoric, premature, previous, previously, primeval, primitive, prior, prochronistic, pushing up daisies, quondam, recent, recently, released, reposing, resting easy, retarded, sainted, set back, sleeping, slow, slowed down, smitten with death, sometime, still, stillborn, stopped, taken away, taken off, tardily, tardy, then, too late, too soon, unbefitting, unfavorable, unfit, unfitting, unfortunate, unhandy, unhappy, unlucky, unpropitious, unpunctual, unready, unripe, unseasonable, unsuitable, untimely, untoward, whilom, with the Lord, with the saints, without life, without vital functions, wrong
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