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

Gaining the accreditation has been a long-time goal of the chief medical examiner’s office, which has long grappled with completing autopsy reports in a timely manner. Matt Stout, BostonGlobe.com, "After ‘temporary’ performance slip, medical examiner’s office to keep accreditation," 5 June 2019 Brown also has faced separate litigation over providing timely access to electronically filed civil suits. Elyssa Cherney, chicagotribune.com, "After months of delay, Cook County begins first day of electronic filing for civil cases," 2 July 2018 The change means that incumbents and candidates will file extra reports over a two-year cycle but the public will have more timely access to documents showing who’s making political contributions. Josh Baugh, San Antonio Express-News, "Council invites in sunshine after some argument against it," 21 June 2018 But not all women have timely access to them, due largely to restrictive state policies. Amina Khan, latimes.com, "The National Academies take a hard look at the safety and quality of abortion care in the U.S.," 16 Mar. 2018 Like other companies, Novo is concerned about the timely delivery of its products in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "U.K. Moves to Ease Import Regulation to Reduce Risks of Potential No-Deal Brexit," 4 Feb. 2019 Although a drop of rain has yet to fall at this Wimbledon, a timely reminder of the All England Club's development plans could be provided on Wednesday. Houston Chronicle, "Maria Sharapova falls in first round at Wimbledon," 3 July 2018 The report from Democrats on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs described failures by the Trump administration that prevented timely delivery of tarps and sheeting to hurricane victims after the summer's storms. Michael Biesecker, chicagotribune.com, "FEMA faulted for failed contracts to deliver hurricane aid," 10 Apr. 2018 Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim has given injured Djibril Sidibe a timely boost by claiming the France defender will be fit in time for this summer's World Cup. Afp, chicagotribune.com, "Jardim: 'It should be possible' for Sidibe to play World Cup with France," 10 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

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 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 Subjects are limited to the past, though, and developers’ tendency to flatten 100-year-old structures to make way for new condos and town homes (what Walters’ calls Charlotte’s Achilles heel) makes the walks particularly timely. Courtney Devores, charlotteobserver, "Take a stroll through Charlotte’s history and get a peek at our future via City Walks | Charlotte Observer," 3 May 2018 Her comments are especially timely, as Reagan's would-be-assassin John Hinckley Jr. was released from St. Elizabeth's Hospital last week after being detained for 35 years. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Ronald Reagan's Daughter Rebukes Trump's Second Amendment Comments," 11 Aug. 2016 Witch This is a classic Halloween costume, but one that feels particularly timely this year: Hocus Pocus turns 25! Ana Colón, Glamour, "These Are the Most Searched Halloween Costumes for 2018, According to Google," 15 Oct. 2018 Glenbrook North has hit only five home runs, but timely hitting has been in abundant supply, as illustrated by Heywood’s four two-out RBIs versus New Trier. Steve Reaven, chicagotribune.com, "Glenbrook North baseball team enjoying successful season thanks to team effort," 1 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

13 Jun 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

Comments on timely

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showing great care, attention, and effort

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