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

opportune, seasonable, well-timed

Antonyms: Adjective

inopportune, unseasonable, untimely

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Examples of timely in a Sentence


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

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience STEMI heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. Kaila Contreras, Houston Chronicle, "Atascocita Fire Department gets Gold Plus Recognition Award from American Heart Association for improving heart attack treatment measures," 7 July 2019 Former President Barack Obama also posted a timely message to the USWNT. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Donald Trump waited 2 hours to congratulate the USWNT on its World Cup title," 7 July 2019 Later, Sanders’ timely donation helped transform his son-in-law from longshot primary challenger to congressman, setting him up to nearly upset U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz last year and catapult him into the presidential race. Washington Post, "Rich father-in-law has helped, complicated O’Rourke’s career," 6 July 2019 Clare takes naming cues from pop culture; names such as Matcha Latte and Avocado Toast are timely references to trendy menu items but also immediately evocative of their green hues. Elizabeth Mayhew, Twin Cities, "Surfboard Yellow, Gentleman’s Gray, Mizzle: How do paint companies name their hues?," 6 July 2019 Stranger Things season 3 takes place in 1985, and The Neverending Story came out in 1984, so this timely reference makes sense. Rachel Paige, refinery29.com, "Let's Talk About Dustin's Camp Girlfriend From Stranger Things," 5 July 2019 The play’s Shakespearean meditations on love, class distinctions, gender politics, friendship, family and even the refugee experience make for a timely, achingly sad and raucously funny experience, according to director Will Block. Philip Brandes, latimes.com, "L.A. theater: An American pioneer tale reframed by a female and nonbinary cast," 5 July 2019 No word as yet been released as to why one of Ellis' co-captains has been left out of the side, but her absence will be a timely boost for Neville and his players. SI.com, "Karen Bardsley Ruled Out of England's World Cup Semi-Final Clash With Hamstring Injury," 2 July 2019 Despite this timely news peg, the debate moderators failed to ask a single question about the state of American democracy. Adam Eichen, The New Republic, "Restoring Democracy is Not Open to Debate," 2 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

In those two innings, Bayside Area had the bases loaded with just one out, but couldn’t come up with the timely hit. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "In lights out fashion, Pearland East 10s capture Section 3 championship," 9 July 2019 Team Red goaltender Ivan Prosvetov made a few timely saves. Julia Stumbaugh, azcentral, "Five takeaways from Coyotes' 2019 Town Hall, prospect scrimmage," 28 June 2019 Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati Enquirer MILWAUKEE – Throughout the last week, the Reds have mixed solid pitching, reliable defense and timely hitting to key their season-long winning streak. Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati.com, "Luis Castillo struggles as Cincinnati Reds' win streak ends in a loss to Milwaukee Brewers," 23 June 2019 Our best Michigan baseball stories: Scouting Michigan U-M has advanced to the finals by playing a simple brand of baseball: Good pitching, good defense and timely hitting. Adam Sparks, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan vs. Vanderbilt in College World Series finals: Scouting report," 23 June 2019 McMahon’s timely hit got German Marquez off the hook for an early four-run deficit and gave Colorado its ninth straight home victory following a disappointing 2-4 road trip. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "Rockies erase four-run deficit to beat Cubs, with Ryan McMahon’s RBI single the difference," 10 June 2019 Rams coach Troy Whalen pointed to pitching, defense and timely hitting as the items that fueled the team’s charge to a sectional championship. Lamond Pope, Lake County News-Sun, "Ram tough: Nic Presutti displays Grayslake Central's grit during supersectional loss to Montini," 4 June 2019 Inadequate staffing led to a backlog of alerts and decreased the broker-dealer’s ability to file timely suspicious-activity reports, FinCEN said. Samuel Rubenfeld, WSJ, "UBS Fined $15 Million Over Anti-Money-Laundering Systems," 17 Dec. 2018 Still, while some are calling He reckless, others are calling this a timely and necessary next chapter in the CRISPR story. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Is the CRISPR baby controversy the start of a terrifying new chapter in gene editing?," 22 Jan. 2019

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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Statistics for timely

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for timely

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

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More Definitions for timely



Financial Definition of timeliness

What It Is

Timeliness is a ranking criterion of stocks based on the likely price performance of a stock over a short time period – usually less than 12 months.

How It Works

Stocks are ranked on a 1 - 5 scale, with one the highest achievable score.

1 indicates the top 100 Stocks
2 indicates above average stocks
3 indicates average stocks
4 indicates below average
5 indicates the lowest rated 100 stocks

Investors are encouraged to hold on to stocks ranked "1" or "2" and sell stocks ranked "4" or "5."

Why It Matters

Timeliness is most widely cited in reference to analysis reports by the Value Line Publishing, Inc., one of the widest read stock research publication companies. A high timeliness rating is Value Line's best expectation of price performance for any given stock.

Source: Investing Answers



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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on timely

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with timely

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for timely

Spanish Central: Translation of timely

Nglish: Translation of timely for Spanish Speakers

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