late

adjective
\ ˈlāt How to pronounce late (audio) \
later; latest

Definition of late

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : coming or remaining after the due, usual, or proper time a late spring was late for class
(2) : of, relating to, or imposed because of tardiness had to pay a late fee
b(1) : of or relating to an advanced stage in point of time or development : occurring near the end of a period of time or series the late Middle Ages
(2) : far advanced toward the close of the day or night late hours
2a : living comparatively recently : now deceased used of persons the late John Doe and often with reference to a specific relationship or status his late wife
b : being something or holding some position or relationship recently but not now the late belligerents
c : made, appearing, or happening just previous to the present time especially as the most recent of a succession our late quarrel

late

adverb
later; latest

Definition of late (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : after the usual or proper time got to work late
b : at or to an advanced point of time
2 : not long ago : recently a writer late of Chicago
of late
: in the period shortly or immediately preceding : recently has been sick of late

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from late

Adjective

lateness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for late

Adjective

dead, defunct, deceased, departed, late mean devoid of life. dead applies literally to what is deprived of vital force but is used figuratively of anything that has lost any attribute (such as energy, activity, radiance) suggesting life. a dead, listless performance defunct stresses cessation of active existence or operation. a defunct television series deceased, departed, and late apply to persons who have died recently. deceased is the preferred term in legal use. the estate of the deceased departed is used usually as a euphemism. our departed sister late is used especially with reference to a person in a specific relation or status. the company's late president

Examples of late in a Sentence

Adjective

It happened in late spring. a word first recorded in the late 17th century We had a late spring this year. Hurry up or we'll be late for school. Their warning was too late to help him. I've always been a late riser. He made a donation to the school in memory of his late wife.

Adverb

Late in the year he became ill. It rained late in the day. Late in his career he moved to the city. a word first recorded late in the 17th century They were trailing by a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. The package should be arriving late next week. He sent in his job application late. They arrived too late for breakfast. I like getting up late. The package arrived late, but better late than never!
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Prior to the Iranian revolution in the late 70s, the U.S. sold Iran 79 Tomcats. Alex Hollings, Popular Mechanics, "Why the F-14 Tomcat Is Such a Badass Plane," 3 May 2019 Bieber, a longtime fan of tie-dye, is now putting an even deeper twist on the already trippy pattern with his latest Instagram post. Vogue, "Justin Bieber’s New Shirt Is Literally Out of This World," 29 Apr. 2019 The latest statistics from 2006 data show that an estimated 13.5 million people in the United States have low access to a proper grocery store, and 82% of them live in urban areas. Jessica Booth, Redbook, "Everything You Need To Know About Food Deserts," 29 Apr. 2019 Tell them to comment a compliment under your latest post. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "40 Things You Only Do With Your Best Friend," 15 Apr. 2019 The Recording Academy also gave a nod to the late Mac Miller with a nomination for Best Rap Album for his final album Swimmer. Aja Romano, Vox, "Grammy nominations 2019: Kendrick Lamar’s Black Panther soundtrack and Drake lead the pack," 7 Feb. 2019 In her latest post, Oprea shares a five-part circuit that focuses on one of the powerhouses of the body: the core. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Strengthen Your Core With This 5-Move Workout From Carrie Underwood’s Trainer," 29 Jan. 2019 Tarek El Moussa has absolutely no hard feelings towards his ex Christina El Moussa and her new husband Ant Anstead, according to his latest Instagram post. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "Tarek El Moussa Just Opened Up About Christina's New Marriage," 11 Jan. 2019 Subscribers: Update your PCWorld app to the latest version today! Pcworld Staff, PCWorld, "PCWorld's April Digital Magazine: Samsung Galaxy S10+ reviewed," 12 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Stocks wobbled between small gains and losses for much of the day before surging late in the session. Avantika Chilkoti, WSJ, "U.S. Stocks Rally to Put S&P 500, Nasdaq at New Records," 26 Apr. 2019 In France three months of labour strikes at SNCF, the state rail firm, have made millions late for work every week and chaos marks Britain’s railways after an abortive timetable change on May 20th. The Economist, "European state rail firms face scrappy new competitors," 28 June 2018 While Democratic Party leaders have shied away from impeachment talks as of late, with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (the No. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "AOC Joins Rashida Tlaib's Call for Impeachment as Democrats Call for Congressional Testimony From Robert Mueller," 19 Apr. 2019 Kate, who’s been loving wearing similar shades of green as of late for nearly all of her royal appearances, would definitely approve of this look. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Wore a Very Kate Middleton-esque, Green Embellished Erdem Coat," 11 Mar. 2019 But given the complexity and uncertainty, small-business owners and immigration lawyers across the country were staying up late on New Year’s Eve counting the clock to midnight—not to celebrate the new year, but to file H-2B visa applications. Ruth Simon, WSJ, "Heavy Demand Crashes Government Visa Site, Leaving Seasonal Business in Limbo," 1 Jan. 2019 Some reports frame the paper’s findings as being about preference (preferring to wake up early or stay up late) while others frame them as being about behavior (actually waking up earlier, regardless of preference). Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Being a morning person might have some health advantages," 12 Nov. 2018 Behaviors as simple as going out alone at night or staying late at the office become laden with risk. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump, and the chilling power of sexual violence," 3 Oct. 2018 Convenience stores and food establishments are required to re-apply annually for the licenses to stay open late. Ruth Bruno, courant.com, "To Curb Violence, Hartford Blocks A Dozen Gas Stations, Convenience Stores From Staying Open All Night," 7 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of late

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for late

Adjective and Adverb

Middle English, late, slow, from Old English læt; akin to Old High German laz slow, Old English lǣtan to let

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about late

Statistics for late

Last Updated

8 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for late

The first known use of late was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for late

late

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of late

: at or near the end of a period of time or a process, activity, series, etc.
: after the usual or expected time

late

adjective
\ ˈlāt How to pronounce late (audio) \
later; latest

Kids Definition of late

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : coming or occurring after the usual or proper time a late spring
2 : coming or occurring toward the end He married in his late twenties.
3 : having died or recently left a certain position the late president
4 : recent sense 2 a late discovery

Other Words from late

lateness noun Do you realize the lateness of the hour?

late

adverb
later; latest

Kids Definition of late (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : after the usual or proper time We arrived late.
2 : near the end of something We'll see you late next week.
of late
: lately I have not seen him of late.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on late

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with late

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for late

Spanish Central: Translation of late

Nglish: Translation of late for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of late for Arabic Speakers

Comments on late

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to make a payment or contribution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!