be·​lat·​ed | \ bi-ˈlā-təd How to pronounce belated (audio) , bē- \

Definition of belated

1 : delayed beyond the usual time One of the men was belated and did not join us at all.— William Pittenger
2 : existing or appearing past the normal or proper time a belated birthday card She received belated recognition for her work.

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Other Words from belated

belatedly adverb
belatedness noun

Did You Know?

Long ago, there was a verb "belate," which meant "to make late." From the beginning, "belate" tended to mostly turn up in the form of its past participle "belated." Eventually, "belate" itself fell out of use, leaving behind "belated" as an adjective that preserved the original notion of delay. As you may have guessed, "belate" and its descendant "belated" derive from the adjective "late"; "belate" was formed by simply combining the prefix be- ("to cause to be") with "late."

Examples of belated in a Sentence

She received belated recognition for her scientific discovery.
Recent Examples on the Web Morrison could present himself as the nation’s first responder in chief, a man of belated action, while avoiding the messy business of doing anything about the climate change that caused the fires. Aaron Timms, The New Republic, "Australia’s Infernal Denial," 7 Jan. 2020 In May 1941, Thomas and Heinrich Mann, along with several dozen other members of the European intelligentsia in exile, gathered in a Santa Monica living room for a belated celebration of Heinrich’s seventieth birthday. Ruth Franklin, Harper's magazine, "Salka the Salonnière," 6 Jan. 2020 Friday will bring the belated release of Brad Pitt's Ad Astra, which was co-financed by Chinese studio Bona Film Group. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, "China Box Office: 'Frozen 2' Climbs Toward $100M, 'Knives Out' Nabs $13.5M," 2 Dec. 2019 The co-anchor also shared a photo of her family on Thanksgiving Day celebrating belated birthdays and her engagement to financier Joel Schiffman. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "‘Today’ Show Star Hoda Kotb Gives a HUGE Update on Her Baby Daughter Hope Catherine," 4 Dec. 2019 The final scene of the play, in which Miss Rivera and Sarge face each other one last time, is rich with belated revelation and barbed empathy. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, "Stephen Adly Guirgis’s World of Broken Women," 16 Dec. 2019 For weeks, she’s spoken passionately about process — how, yes, the county had some belated meetings. Tad Vezner, Twin Cities, "Roomfuls of public support fail to save The Ponds golf course in Ramsey County … for now," 6 Dec. 2019 After getting embarrassed in Cleveland two weeks ago, the Steelers served up sweet revenge and seemed to cripple the Browns' belated playoff push. 9a. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "32 things we learned from Week 13 of the 2019 NFL season," 2 Dec. 2019 In his belated debut, Slayton caught three passes for 82 yards while playing 27 offensive snaps as the Giants defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32-31 last week. Mark Inabinett |, al, "New York Giants ‘believe in’ rookie receiver Darius Slayton," 29 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'belated.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of belated

1670, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for belated

past participle of belate (to make late)

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Time Traveler for belated

Time Traveler

The first known use of belated was in 1670

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Statistics for belated

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Belated.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for belated


How to pronounce belated (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of belated

: happening or coming very late or too late


be·​lat·​ed | \ bi-ˈlā-təd How to pronounce belated (audio) \

Kids Definition of belated

: happening or coming very late or too late belated birthday wishes

Other Words from belated

belatedly adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on belated

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for belated

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with belated

Spanish Central: Translation of belated

Nglish: Translation of belated for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of belated for Arabic Speakers

Comments on belated

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


to insert between existing elements

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