Thesaurus

late

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of late

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 not arriving, occurring, or settled at the due, usual, or proper time
  • I ran as fast as I could, but was still late for class

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2 having been such at some previous time
  • the late musical director said he would never have allowed such behavior while he was in charge

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3 no longer living
  • our late granduncle remembered us in his will

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late

adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms of late (Entry 2 of 2)

1 after the due, usual, or proper time
  • she has a habit of arriving late for everything

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2 not long ago
  • the actress, late of New York but now of Los Angeles, is being eagerly sought for film roles

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Frequently Asked Questions About late

How does the adjective late contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of late are dead, deceased, defunct, and departed. While all these words mean "devoid of life," late is used especially with reference to a person in a specific relation or status.

the company's late president

In what contexts can dead take the place of late?

In some situations, the words dead and late are roughly equivalent. However, dead applies literally to what is deprived of vital force but is used figuratively of anything that has lost any attribute (such as energy, activity, radiance) suggesting life.

a dead, listless performance

How is deceased related to other words for late?

Deceased, departed, and late apply to persons who have died recently. Deceased is the preferred term in legal use.

the estate of the deceased

When is defunct a more appropriate choice than late?

The synonyms defunct and late are sometimes interchangeable, but defunct stresses cessation of active existence or operation.

a defunct television series

When could departed be used to replace late?

Although the words departed and late have much in common, departed is used usually as a euphemism.

our departed sister

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Time Traveler for late

Time Traveler

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

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Thesaurus Entries Near late

latch (on or onto)

late

latecomer

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Cite this Entry

“Late.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/late. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on late

Nglish: Translation of late for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of late for Arabic Speakers

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