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

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from timely


timeliness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for timely

Synonyms: Adjective

opportune, seasonable, well-timed

Antonyms: Adjective

inopportune, unseasonable, untimely

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

In the wake of yet another school shooting, the meeting seemed timely, said Canterbury parent Jennifer Baron. Janice Steinhagen, Courant Community, "Parents, Kids Form Windham County Anti-Bully Group," 29 May 2018 Ensuring that everyone involved in a particular issue is kept current in all aspects of the process in a timely manner. Greg Larose, NOLA.com, "Top Workplaces: Team spirit lifts Ryan Gootee General Contractors," 24 May 2018 Many are now on view as part of this PST: LA/LA show at the Autry — and in a time of political strife surrounding the issues of civil rights, this exhibition couldn’t be more timely. Carolina A. Miranda, latimes.com, "Datebook: Shots of old Route 66, dreamlike paintings and garments fashioned from paper," 12 July 2018 The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution may have been ratified 150 years ago — on July 9, 1868 — but Monday’s news is clear proof that the amendment is as timely as ever. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "Trump's Supreme Court Pick Puts Spotlight on Roe v. Wade on 150th Anniversary of the Amendment That Made the Case Possible," 9 July 2018 This study is especially timely because more and more cities have been criminalizing certain crosswalk behavior. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "Why the ‘distracted pedestrian’ is a myth," 21 June 2018 The study is timely, with sales of audio books booming. Mary Cadden, USA TODAY, "New study finds that audio books elicit stronger emotional response than movies, TV," 21 June 2018 In their debut, Kim Jong Un (played by Kim Jong Un) and Donald J. Trump (played by Donald J. Trump) deliver a powerful political statement about international politics that could hardly be timelier. Rick Noack, Washington Post, "Kim said his meeting with Trump was like a ‘science fiction movie.’ So let’s review it like one.," 12 June 2018 Court Watch recommended judges make every effort to be timely to the bench. Heather Nolan, NOLA.com, "Defendants often plead guilty without attorneys present: Court Watch," 22 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Summer rains have stimulated lots of new growth; perform timely pruning as needed. Tom Maccubbin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "July in the garden," 30 June 2018 Examining how racist and sexist behavior demeans black female athletes is both timely and a long time coming to Jacqueline Jones. Katherine Fominykh, baltimoresun.com, "New study from Morgan State explores how black female athletes navigate racism and sexism to excel," 27 June 2018 The lawsuit alleges the pharmacist and emergency room physician, Dr. Nicole Mancha, failed to timely diagnose and treat the overdose and failed to provide appropriate counseling. Amy Forliti, BostonGlobe.com, "Prince’s heirs sue hospital, Walgreens over post-overdose care," 24 Apr. 2018 Courtney said his team has been fundamentally sound and has relied on the usual successful things in baseball – pitching, defense and timely hitting. Gary Curreri, Sun-Sentinel.com, "North Springs Little League 11-under all-stars shine brightly at sectionals," 11 July 2018 Speak No Evil, penned by Nigerian-American writer Uzodinma Iweala, author of Beasts of No Nation, is a timely and important story of young Niru, who tries to come out to his conservative parents in anti-gay Nigeria. Hope Wabuke, The Root, "These New and Upcoming Books by Black Authors Will Give You Life in These Perilous Times," 11 Feb. 2018 Also Monday, the Seattle council passed legislation that will increase the maximum fine for gun owners who fail to timely report lost or stolen firearms, from $500 to $1,000. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "Gun owners face fines up to $10,000 for not locking up their guns under new Seattle law," 9 July 2018 While these three women's stories remain front and center, John Glenn's recent death makes this film particularly timely. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "The True Story of 'Hidden Figures' and the Women Who Crunched the Numbers for NASA," 3 Feb. 2017 Good pitching and and timely hitting led the Aberdeen IronBirds (10-10) to a second straight win over the Brooklyn Cyclones (11-9) Thursday night in New York. Randy Mcroberts, The Aegis, "Aberdeen beats Brooklyn again, 2-1," 6 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about timely

Statistics for timely

Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for timely

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more


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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on timely

What made you want to look up timely? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by word of mouth

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!