Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

latter

play
adjective lat·ter \ˈla-tər\

Simple Definition of latter

  • : coming or happening near the end of a process, activity, series, life, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of latter

  1. 1 a :  belonging to a subsequent time or period :  more recent <the latter stages of growth> b :  of or relating to the end <in their latter days> c :  recent, present <affected by latter calamities>

  2. 2 :  of, relating to, or being the second of two groups or things or the last of several groups or things referred to <of ham and beef the latter meat is cheaper today> <of ham and beef the latter is cheaper today>

Examples of latter in a sentence

  1. … a fundamental trade-off between capitalist prosperity and economic security. As a nation we have chosen to have less of the former in order to have more of the latter. —David A. Stockman, Newsweek, 28 Apr. 1986

  2. … though her bibliography includes Hecht, Snyder, and Daiches, she omits the latter's first name … —DeLancey Ferguson, Modern Language Notes, February 1957

  3. the latter stages of the process

  4. We'll go in the latter half of the year.

  5. In his latter years he became blind.



Origin and Etymology of latter

Middle English, from Old English lætra, comparative of læt late


First Known Use: before 12th century



LATTER Defined for Kids

latter

play
adjective lat·ter \ˈla-tər\

Definition of latter for Students

  1. 1 :  coming or occurring near the end <We are in the latter stages of the work.>

  2. 2 :  relating to or being the last thing or person mentioned <Of cake or pie, I'll choose the latter.>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up latter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

of, relating to, or near a shore

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

lavender-fields-in-france

Which of these is a synonym of caesura?

megillah rebellion torrent interruption
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ