- The definition of late is something that happens or someone that arrives after the expected time.
- An example of late is someone showing up to breakfast in the afternoon.
- An example of late is a show that was supposed to start at four beginning at four thirty.
A couple realize they are going to be late!
adjectivelater or latter, latest or last
- happening, coming, etc. after the usual, proper, or expected time; tardy; behindhand
- happening, being, continuing, etc. far on in the day, night, year, etc.: the late afternoon, a late party
- happening, being, continuing, etc. toward the end; far advanced in a period, development, etc.: the late Middle Ages
- happening, appearing, etc. just previous to the present time; recent: a late news bulletin
- having been so recently but not now: the late allies
- having recently died
Origin of lateMiddle English ; from Old English læt, slow, sluggish, tardy, akin to Dutch laat, German lass, slow, lazy ; from Indo-European an unverified form lēid ; from base an unverified form lēi-, to neglect, let go from source let, Classical Latin lassus, weak
- a. Coming, occurring, continuing, or remaining after the correct, usual, or expected time; delayed: a late breakfast; a late meeting. See Synonyms at tardy.b. Occurring at an advanced hour, especially well into the evening or night: a late movie on television; the late flight to Denver.
- Of or toward the end or more advanced part, as of a period or stage: the late 19th century; a later symptom of the disease.
- a. Having begun or occurred just previous to the present time; recent: a late development.b. Contemporary; up-to-date: the latest fashion.
- a. Having recently occupied a position or place: the company's late president gave the address.b. Dead, especially if only recently deceased: in memory of the late explorer. See Synonyms at dead.
adverblater later, latest latest
- After the expected, usual, or proper time: a train that arrived late; woke late and had to skip breakfast.
- a. At or until an advanced hour: talked late into the evening.b. At or into an advanced period or stage: a project undertaken late in her career.
- Recently: As late as last week he was still in town.
Origin of lateMiddle English, from Old English læt; see lē- in Indo-European roots.
(comparative later, superlative latest)
- Near the end of a period of time.
- It was late in the evening when we finally arrived.
- Specifically, near the end of the day.
- It was getting late and I was tired.
- (usually not used comparatively) Associated with the end of a period.
- Late Latin is less fully inflected than classical Latin.
- 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 excuse of being in hospital for most of the night.
- Not having had an expected menstrual period.
- I'm late, honey. Could you buy a test?
- (not comparable, euphemistic) Deceased, dead: used particularly when speaking of the dead person's actions while alive. (Often used with the; see usage notes.)
- Her late husband had left her well provided for.
- The piece was composed by the late Igor Stravinsky.
- Existing or holding some position not long ago, but not now; departed, or gone out of office.
- the late bishop of London; the late administration
- Recent — relative to the noun it modifies.
- (deceased): Late in this sense is unusual among English adjectives in that it qualifies named individuals (in phrases like the late Mary) without creating a contrast with another Mary who is not late. Contrast hungry: a phrase like the hungry Mary is usually only used if another Mary is under discussion who is not hungry.
- (informal) A shift (scheduled work period) that takes place late in the day or at night.
(comparative later, superlative latest)
From Middle English late, lat, from Old English læt (“slow; slack, lax, negligent; late”), from Proto-Germanic *lataz (“slow, lazy”), from Proto-Indo-European *lē(y)d- (“to weaken, tire, relax, subside”). Cognate with Scots lat (“late”), West Frisian let (“late”), Dutch laat (“late”), Low German laat (“late”), German lass (“dull, limp”), Swedish lat (“idle, lazy”), Icelandic latur (“lazy”), Latin lassus (“weary, faint”).