time·​ly | \ ˈtīm-lē \
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

And a reissue would be timely: The designer will open an exhibition at the Museum of Lace and Fashion in Calais, France, in June 2019. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Tom Ford’s Gucci and 1980s BodyMap: These Are the 16 Collections We’d Like to See Reissued Now," 27 Dec. 2018 Longtime friends and collaborators, Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal co-wrote and star in this timely and wildly entertaining story about friendship and the intersection of race and class set against the backdrop of Oakland. SFChronicle.com, "‘Blindspotting’," 2 July 2018 But Season 2 could take things a step further, using that same sensibility to tell a more timely and relevant story. Laura Bradley, HWD, "The Terror Season 2 Could Be One of 2019’s Most Important Shows," 22 June 2018 Fighting Nazis is timely again, and yet Battlefield’s return to World War II feels ill-advised. T.c. Sottek, The Verge, "Battlefield V’s single-player stories are the right way to do war games," 20 Nov. 2018 And with the market participants betting that the Fed will incrementally raise interest rates another percentage point over the next year, this advice could be especially timely. Derek Horstmeyer, WSJ, "Which Stocks Do Best When Interest Rates Rise," 7 Oct. 2018 Zuckerberg’s testimony is especially timely, since new, strict rules on data privacy known as the General Data Protection Regulation will take effect Friday. Chronicle Staff, San Francisco Chronicle, "Live: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg testifies before European Parliament," 22 May 2018 This tight focus is why Dear White People is so eerily timely in Season 2, which tackles the conflict between student activists and a growing alt-right presence on campus that’s emboldened by Trump’s election. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Dear White People Is Both Timely and Timeless," 5 May 2018 Hanoi also happens to be a perfect microcosm for the region—the timely, the timeless, the graceful, the infuriating, and the unfathomably delicious, all in a single, compact, and (relatively) manageable city. Peter Jon Lindberg, Condé Nast Traveler, "Hanoi, Time and Again," 20 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

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?," 30 Nov. 2018 But at its annual developers conference this week, Apple's version of shade took on a very touchy, and timely, subject: Privacy and security online in a post-Cambridge Analytica era. Madeline Buxton, refinery29.com, "New Updates Make Apple's Safari A Woke Browser In An Era Of Privacy Concerns," 5 June 2018 The announcement of the 'new' section of the wall is timely: The Berlin Wall was completed 57 years ago on August 13, 1961, as a border between East and West Berlin. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "A New Section of the Berlin Wall Was Just Discovered," 14 Aug. 2018 Notable expert picks were Jeffrey Gundlach’s timely short call on Facebook and a recommendation to go long Express Scripts by Larry Robbins. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "Bulls’ Eye Still Elusive for Stock Pros," 5 Nov. 2018 Sadly, outrage over these arrests has been largely overshadowed by the kingdom’s timely overturn of the ban — which came into effect just a month after the activists’ arrests. Rauza Khan, Teen Vogue, "Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and Princess Have Been Praised For Being “Progressive” While Our Friend Spent Her Birthday in Jail," 10 Sep. 2018 Theatrical breakout potential for Volcano will depend on astute marketing, but timely political subtext and an Oscar-friendly track record should help. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Volcano': Film Review | Karlovy Vary 2018," 13 July 2018 The center’s capacity for paper-making is timely, Jukkala said, noting there is growing student interest in paper-making. Stephan Salisbury, Philly.com, "PAFA getting Rutgers' Brodsky paper and print-making center," 6 June 2018 Her utopianism, so timely amid the catastrophes that still shake the world, particularly recommends this most personal of histories. New York Times, "Notes From the Book Review Archives," 11 May 2018

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

10 Jan 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 \
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

Comments on timely

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involving abstract or general statements

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