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

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 But with the release of Wonder Woman 1984, the outfit is especially timely. Katarina Avendano, Good Housekeeping, 12 May 2022 An update from Getsy was timely because so much change is expected for an offense that consistently has ranked near the bottom of the league in many key categories. Brad Biggs, Chicago Tribune, 8 May 2022 This is even more timely, since the Supreme Court recently ruled that such benefits don’t constitutionally have to be available to the territories. Andrew Pulrang, Forbes, 30 Apr. 2022 There was one portion of it that the judge decided wasn't timely. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 27 Apr. 2022 For the pastors, Easter's promise of hope couldn't be more timely as their resilient congregations come to terms with what happened and prepare for what's next. USA TODAY, 14 Apr. 2022 Glaser said the technology could hardly be more timely. Ken Dilanian, NBC News, 5 Apr. 2022 Bey doesn't always get basketball texts from his mom, but her advice was timely. Omari Sankofa Ii, Detroit Free Press, 18 Mar. 2022 From a personal perspective, the filming was timely, as Sarah Whitley was to die ten days after the footage was shot. Nat Segnit, Harper’s Magazine , 16 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Timely.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/timely. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for timely


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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