Definition of belated
- One of the men was belated and did not join us at all.
- —William Pittenger
- a belated birthday card
- She received belated recognition for her work.
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She received belated recognition for her scientific discovery.
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.
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."
: happening or coming very late or too late
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