time·​ly | \ ˈtīm-lē How to pronounce timely (audio) \
timelier; timeliest

Definition of timely

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : coming early or at the right time a timely decision timely payment
2 : appropriate or adapted to the times or the occasion a timely book



Definition of timely (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : in time : opportunely the question was not … timely raised in the state court— W. O. Douglas
2 archaic : early, soon

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Other Words from timely


timeliness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for timely

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of timely in a Sentence

Adjective Her very timely book examines the effects of global warming on the world's climates. She always responds to my requests in a timely fashion .
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The case also represents another failure in Chicago’s complicated police disciplinary system to investigate allegations of police misconduct in a timely manner. Jeremy Gorner, chicagotribune.com, 3 Sep. 2021 The message from ticket providers says that attendees will be informed in a timely manner if the requirements are updated for other performances in the series. Connor Sanders, The Salt Lake Tribune, 27 Aug. 2021 People who purchased tickets will be reimbursed in a timely manner, the tweet states. Melanie Laughman, The Enquirer, 21 Aug. 2021 According to the Office of Inspector General, the Census Bureau missed opportunities to limit its vulnerability to the attack and didn't discover and report the attack in a timely manner. NBC News, 15 Aug. 2021 Olmsted Falls Law Director Andrew Bemer said all individuals who were required to receive the brief did so in a timely manner. John Benson, cleveland, 13 Aug. 2021 How unfortunate the women harassed by him either didn’t report the incidents in a timely manner or that those charged with investigating claims of harassment failed to do their job or covered up the complaints because the violator was the governor. David Fleshler, sun-sentinel.com, 13 Aug. 2021 But many students and their parents say that UCSD didn’t apprise them in a clear, timely way that enrollment growth and the pandemic were going to lead to a big housing shortage during a year in which enrollment is expected to set a record. San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 July 2021 Simply put, the deal between ND and TVA went into the ditch because ND did not carry out its contractual obligations in a timely way. Paul Gattis | Pgattis@al.com, al, 30 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'timely.' 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 timely


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for timely

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near timely

time lock


time machine

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Statistics for timely

Last Updated

15 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Timely.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/timely. Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for timely



English Language Learners Definition of timely

: happening at the correct or most useful time : not happening too late


time·​ly | \ ˈtīm-lē How to pronounce timely (audio) \
timelier; timeliest

Kids Definition of timely

1 : coming early or at the right time a timely payment
2 : especially suitable to the time a timely book


time·​ly | \ ˈtīm-lē \

Legal Definition of timely

: falling within a prescribed or reasonable time timely notice

Other Words from timely

timeliness noun
timely adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on timely

Nglish: Translation of timely for Spanish Speakers


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