un·​time·​ly | \ ˌən-ˈtīm-lē How to pronounce untimely (audio) \

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

Esther's career quickly takes off from there, and her stardom ultimately begins to outshine John's — which, in turn, leads to his untimely demise. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "What Is 'A Star Is Born' Really About? Here's a Look at All 4 Versions of the Movie," 24 Feb. 2019 Her untimely death at age 24 resulted in another chemist, Arthur Dean, taking credit for her work. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "32 Women Who’ve Changed Life As We Know It," 31 Mar. 2019 Eversley, 77, inherited his studio’s lease from the widow of his friend, the artist John Altoon, after Altoon’s untimely death in 1969. Howie Kahn, WSJ, "Evicted From His Home, Sculptor Fred Eversley Contemplates the Future," 27 Feb. 2019 That said, this plot line doesn’t necessarily hint at a character’s death, but more likely an untimely firing. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Is Another 'NCIS' Character Leaving the Show?," 6 Nov. 2018 His untimely fate will send a shiver through workaholics everywhere, not to mention all who need multiple packs of Muratti cigarettes to get through their workload. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "A Workaholic Saved Chrysler," 25 July 2018 The famously private couple garnered much attention from paparazzi and in the press until their untimely death in July of 1999. Chrissy Rutherford, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Channeled Carolyn Bessette in This Classic Look," 7 Feb. 2019 Blue Bloods fans may never get over Linda's untimely death, but Donnie's real-life romance seems pretty great. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Jenny McCarthy Sent an Emotional Video to Donnie Wahlberg and He Shared It With Everyone," 30 Jan. 2019 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

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 How to pronounce untimely (audio) \

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

Comments on untimely

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


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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