un·​time·​ly | \ ˌən-ˈtīm-lē \

Definition of untimely 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : at an inopportune time : unseasonably
2 : before the due, natural, or proper time : prematurely went untimely to the grave



Definition of untimely (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : inopportune, unseasonable an untimely joke untimely frost
2 : occurring or done before the due, natural, or proper time : too early : premature an untimely death

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Other Words from untimely


untimeliness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for untimely

Synonyms: Adjective

early, inopportune, precocious, premature, unseasonable

Antonyms: Adjective


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Examples of untimely in a Sentence


the untimely arrival of our guests caught us by surprise

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Before Justice Antonin Scalia’s untimely passing, the court looked ready to rule in Friedrichs’ favor. Orange County Register, "The first 100 days of Trump," 22 Jan. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Since broccoli is a winter vegetable, it's built to withstand colder temperatures, and warmer temperatures can lead to its untimely demise. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "Here's How to Store Pretty Much Any Kind of Produce," 25 June 2018 Just in 2016, the same year of Lexa's untimely demise, Autostraddle counted 30 lesbian or bisexual women who died on TV. refinery29.com, "Courtney's 13 Reasons Why Ending Is A Huge Moment For Queer Women On TV," 22 May 2018 Thanks in large part to the scandal surrounding his divorce from Princess Diana and the huge impact her untimely death had on the public, Charles spent a long time as one of the less popular members of the royal family. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "The Ultimate Guide to the Royal Family," 18 Nov. 2018 Before his untimely death last year, Rosling (with his son and daughter-in-law as co-authors) published a magnificent book arguing against such reflexive pessimism. Matt Ridley, WSJ, "Why Is It So Cool to Be Gloomy?," 15 Nov. 2018 Her untimely death in a helicopter accident left fans reeling, and wondering what shakeups to expect next. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'Blue Bloods' Star Bridget Moynahan Spills All the Secrets from the New Season," 29 Sep. 2018 Thankfully, there's no sign that the NAKED2, NAKED3, and Naked Heat palettes will be meeting the same type of untimely death any time soon. Zoe Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Urban Decay Has Announced the End of Its Naked Palette," 23 Aug. 2018 In a contract year, Ingram is one of the many high-profile players around the NFL not taking part in the voluntary workouts as an untimely injury could prove costly come 2019. Clyde Verdin, NOLA.com, "High risk, little reward for Mark Ingram at OTAs," 31 May 2018 Peery pointed to some untimely injuries for some of the team's losses. Hayes Gardner For The Oregonian/oregonlive, OregonLive.com, "Portland State's Barret Peery looking to replace a departed assistant coach," 4 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'untimely.' 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 untimely


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for untimely

The first known use of untimely was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for untimely



English Language Learners Definition of untimely

: happening or done sooner than you expect : occurring before the proper or right time

: happening or done at a time that is not suitable or appropriate


un·​time·​ly | \ ˌən-ˈtīm-lē \

Kids Definition of untimely

1 : happening or done before the expected, natural, or proper time The game came to an untimely end.
2 : coming at the wrong time an untimely joke


un·​time·​ly | \ ˌən-ˈtīm-lē\

Legal Definition of untimely 

: not timely especially : not made or filed within a period of time specified by procedural rule an untimely petition

Other Words from untimely

untimeliness noun
untimely adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on untimely

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with untimely

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for untimely

Spanish Central: Translation of untimely

Nglish: Translation of untimely for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of untimely for Arabic Speakers

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marked by shyness and lack of polish

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