- 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 â€” 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 lÃ¦t (â€œslow; slack, lax, negligent; lateâ€), from Proto-Germanic *lataz (â€œslow, lazyâ€), from Proto-Indo-European *lÄ“(y)d- (â€œto weaken, tire, relax, subsideâ€). Cognate with Scots lat (â€œlateâ€), West Frisian let (â€œlateâ€), Dutch laat (â€œlateâ€), Low German laat (â€œlateâ€), German lass (â€œdull, limpâ€), Swedish lat (â€œidle, lazyâ€), Icelandic latur (â€œlazyâ€), Latin lassus (â€œweary, faintâ€).