tar·​dy | \ ˈtär-dē How to pronounce tardy (audio) \
tardier; tardiest

Definition of tardy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : moving slowly : sluggish the tardy pace at which she was obliged to walk— Charles Dickens
2 : delayed beyond the expected or proper time : late a tardy arrival


plural tardies

Definition of tardy (Entry 2 of 2)

: an instance of being tardy (as to a class)

Examples of tardy in a Sentence

Adjective She was tardy to work. They were tardy in filing the application.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The plaintiffs allege that these documents are insufficient in light of what Section 220 demands—and that its follow-up request for more documentation, filed in early April, was met with a tardy response, thus violating Delaware law. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 4 May 2022 The following month, Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan watchdog, filed a complaint about Fallon’s report with the Office of Congressional Ethics, citing an article about the tardy disclosure published by Insider. Zach Everson, Forbes, 22 Apr. 2022 People who miss the daily notification can post late, but such images are conspicuously marked for being tardy. Carly Wanna, Bloomberg.com, 29 Mar. 2022 Chives and scallions are routinely tardy, waiting to show up until the very end but leaving a lasting impression. Washington Post, 1 Apr. 2022 Yet over the past several weeks, in the wake of revelations about tardy disclosures by members and stock trading by Federal Reserve officials, Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate have proposed new legislation. Steven T. Dennis, Bloomberg.com, 9 Feb. 2022 Covid, then reflation, then supply-chain inflation, then a tardy Fed, then war. James Mackintosh, WSJ, 15 Mar. 2022 According to the presentation, failure to serve detention, being tardy or truant were the main reasons high school students were served in-school suspensions. Rafael Guerrero, chicagotribune.com, 25 Feb. 2022 Emmilee was uncharacteristically tardy for work and grew more combative. Gillian Flaccus, Anchorage Daily News, 21 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But why not grant one tardy statuette, just to mark the spot? Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, 25 Mar. 2022 This fall many of these same students as well as others are missing classes because of tardy or no-show buses and for other reasons. BostonGlobe.com, 18 Sep. 2014 Districts with fewer school nurses report higher rates of tardy and absentee students. Laken Brooks, Forbes, 30 May 2021 The casting is, for the most part, quite good, if a little tardy in showcasing more marquee-worthy members. Brian Lowry, CNN, 17 Dec. 2020 Three snaps later, on fourth-and-5, Garoppolo’s tardy and off-target sideline throw toward Taylor, who was briefly open, meant a first down became a game-sealing pass breakup for cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. Eric Branch, SFChronicle.com, 14 Sep. 2020 Online doors opened via Zoom promptly at 8 a.m., with a tardy recorded after 8:15 a.m. Students’ presence was required for the duration with live classes, including physical education via Zoom and a social hour. Rifat Malik, Dallas News, 1 July 2020 His tardy and limp comments about peaceful demonstrations came only after congressional resolutions and John McCain’s Senate tongue-lashing for their absence. Andrew Malcolm, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Jan. 2018 Shattered-bat grounder went to Xander Bogaerts, who was a fraction tardy in making the flip-feed, which cost Boston the double play. Dennis Manoloff, cleveland.com, 27 Aug. 2017 See More

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

First Known Use of tardy


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1960, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tardy


alteration of earlier tardif, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *tardivus, from Latin tardus

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The first known use of tardy was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tardy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tardy. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for tardy


tar·​dy | \ ˈtär-dē How to pronounce tardy (audio) \
tardier; tardiest

Kids Definition of tardy

: not on time : late

Other Words from tardy

tardiness \ ˈtär-​dē-​nəs \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on tardy

Nglish: Translation of tardy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tardy for Arabic Speakers


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