tar·​dy | \ ˈtär-dē How to pronounce tardy (audio) \
tardier; tardiest

Definition of tardy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : moving slowly : sluggish the tardy pace at which she was obliged to walk— Charles Dickens
2 : delayed beyond the expected or proper time : late a tardy arrival


plural tardies

Definition of tardy (Entry 2 of 2)

: an instance of being tardy (as to a class)

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Examples of tardy in a Sentence

Adjective She was tardy to work. They were tardy in filing the application.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective While the mishap certainly seems like an accident, the location, circumstances and the tardy U.S. announcement is concerning. Craig Hooper, Forbes, 8 Oct. 2021 Principal Ernst, nailing Salahudin for being tardy again. Seija Rankin, EW.com, 25 Aug. 2021 He is known for not diving into minutiae of city government, former aides said, and being tardy. Washington Post, 14 Aug. 2021 Plans to reopen have been hampered by a tardy vaccine roll-out. BostonGlobe.com, 6 Aug. 2021 The efforts to replace the convention center heat relief have been tardy and scant in comparison. Jessica Boehm, The Arizona Republic, 19 July 2021 Walked out of the gate but ran with purpose after the tardy start. Star Tribune, 30 June 2021 Along with the tardy vaccine rollout, Morrison has also been criticized by the main opposition Labor party for a policy of quarantining returned overseas travelers in city-center hotels. Jason Scott, Fortune, 28 June 2021 Wachtell said tardy disclosure robs shareholders of material information that might affect their willingness to buy or sell the stock. Andrew Ackerman, WSJ, 23 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Districts with fewer school nurses report higher rates of tardy and absentee students. Laken Brooks, Forbes, 30 May 2021 The casting is, for the most part, quite good, if a little tardy in showcasing more marquee-worthy members. Brian Lowry, CNN, 17 Dec. 2020 Three snaps later, on fourth-and-5, Garoppolo’s tardy and off-target sideline throw toward Taylor, who was briefly open, meant a first down became a game-sealing pass breakup for cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. Eric Branch, SFChronicle.com, 14 Sep. 2020 Online doors opened via Zoom promptly at 8 a.m., with a tardy recorded after 8:15 a.m. Students’ presence was required for the duration with live classes, including physical education via Zoom and a social hour. Rifat Malik, Dallas News, 1 July 2020 His tardy and limp comments about peaceful demonstrations came only after congressional resolutions and John McCain’s Senate tongue-lashing for their absence. Andrew Malcolm, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Jan. 2018 Shattered-bat grounder went to Xander Bogaerts, who was a fraction tardy in making the flip-feed, which cost Boston the double play. Dennis Manoloff, cleveland.com, 27 Aug. 2017

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1960, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tardy


alteration of earlier tardif, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *tardivus, from Latin tardus

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The first known use of tardy was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near tardy

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Last Updated

13 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tardy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tardy. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for tardy



English Language Learners Definition of tardy

: slow in moving, acting, or happening
: done or happening late
: arriving or doing something late


tar·​dy | \ ˈtär-dē How to pronounce tardy (audio) \
tardier; tardiest

Kids Definition of tardy

: not on time : late

Other Words from tardy

tardiness \ ˈtär-​dē-​nəs \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on tardy

Nglish: Translation of tardy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tardy for Arabic Speakers


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