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late

Line breaks: late
Pronunciation: /leɪt
 
/

Definition of late in English:

adjective

1Doing something or taking place after the expected, proper, or usual time: his late arrival she was half an hour late for her lunch appointment
More example sentences
  • Sometimes it makes me late for class, and sometimes I make excuses to stay in.
  • She had been asking for more breaks in the past week, and often coming in late for her shift.
  • Even Chelsey claiming to be late for something and dashing off would be better.
Synonyms
2Belonging or taking place far on in a particular period: they won the game with a late goal an elegantly dressed woman in her late fifties
More example sentences
  • As the baby-boomers enter their mid to late fifties the issue of how we care for the aged is never far from the news headlines.
  • It looked all over at that stage for the home team but they fought back admirably and got two late goals, one from the penalty spot.
  • But the other Sheffield side showed a bit of steel as they grabbed two late goals to guarantee the celebration had to be put on hold.
2.1Denoting or belonging to the advanced stage of a historical period or cultural movement: the late 1960s late Gothic style
More example sentences
  • It is an historical fate for all late modern societies that we should welcome and make the best of.
  • I recall when we made the major State sector reforms in the late 1980s.
  • Less than half of the adult population regularly attended church by the late 1980s.
2.2Far on in the day or night: I’m sorry the call is so late it’s too late for sherry
More example sentences
  • It was finally faxed through late last night, too late for most deadlines.
  • Between household chores, she studied - late at night and early in the morning.
  • However, if you are invited to Ed's late night party, the gloves come off and it is Ed - no holds barred.
2.3Flowering or ripening towards the end of the season: the last late chrysanthemums
More example sentences
  • While in pruning mode, cut late flowering clematis hard back to a low pair of fat buds.
  • Remove late flowers on peppers and eggplant to send more energy into the ripening fruit.
  • The white currant is White transparent, again a late flowering variety.
3 (the/one's late) (Of a specified person) no longer alive: the late Francis Bacon her late husband’s grave
More example sentences
  • If the late princess were still alive, however, she might have changed her mind about him.
  • She said her husband's late sister had complained to the council on their behalf and they had understood something was going to be done.
  • He was husband of the late Kathleen and was a popular and prominent member of the local rural community.
Synonyms
3.1No longer having the specified status; former: a late colleague of mine
4 (latest) Of most recent date: the latest news
More example sentences
  • Call the office regularly to keep up to speed with all the latest gossip and news.
  • Hand guns and heroin were seized by drugs squad police in the latest Crack Down raids.
  • He was warning those people that are sporting the latest craze in flag waving to beware.
Synonyms
most recent, newest, brand new, just out, just released, fresh, present-day, up to date, up to the minute, state-of-the-art, current, modern, contemporary, modernistic, fashionable, in fashion, in vogue, voguish, bang up to date, in;
Frenchà la mode

adverb

Back to top  
1After the expected, proper, or usual time: she arrived late
More example sentences
  • The unofficial action was expected to end late last evening, with services returning to normal by today.
  • Cathy was never late and expected the same when you met her for dinner.
  • The second phase is expected to start late this year or early next year.
Synonyms
behind schedule, behind time, behindhand, unpunctually, belatedly, tardily, at the last minute, at the tail end;
dilatorily, slowly, recently
after hours, after office hours, overtime, past the usual finishing/stopping/closing time
2Far on in time; towards the end of a period: it happened late in 1994
More example sentences
  • These headlines are all drawn from just a three day period late in September.
  • That was in the context of a writ issued late in the limitation period.
  • He commanded troops in Guangdong and advocated a fight to the finish late in the war.
2.1At or until a time far on in the day or night: now I’m old enough to stay up late
More example sentences
  • Children were also to be made safer - safer from their irresponsible parents who allowed them to stay out late at night.
  • I stay up late at night reading stupid Philosophy readings and wake up early to read some more.
  • It would probably help if I hadn't stayed up too late last night making a fiction index.
Synonyms
late at night, till the early hours of the morning
informal till the wee small hours, till all hours
2.2 (later) At a time in the near future; soon or afterwards: I’ll see you later later on it will be easier
3 (late of) Formerly but not now living or working in a specified place or institution: Mrs Halford, late of the County Records Office

noun

(the latest) Back to top  
The most recent news or fashion: have you heard the latest?
More example sentences
  • The accident is the latest in a recent spate of serious hit and run collisions in the area.
  • This is the latest in a series of injuries which have stretched the Lochcarron squad.
  • This is the latest in a spate of vandal attacks on fire crews and buses in the area.

Origin

Old English læt (adjective; also in the sense 'slow, tardy'), late (adverb), of Germanic origin; related to German lass, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin lassus 'weary', let1, and let2.

More
  • early from (Old English):

    The word early, like late, is from Old English, and is found in many idioms and proverbs. The early bird gets the worm is first recorded in 1636, and early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise goes as far back as 1496. Early doors, meaning early on in a game or contest, has become a cliché of sports reporting, but originally referred to admission to a music hall some time before the start of the performance, which was more expensive but gave you a wider choice of seating. The first record of its use is from 1883. The practice died out in the 1950s but the phrase was resurrected in footballing circles in the 1970s in its current sense, with the legendary English football manager Brian Clough ( 1935–2004) providing the first recorded example.

Phrases

at the latest

1
No later than the time specified: all new cars will be required to meet this standard by 1997 at the latest
More example sentences
  • It also emerged that by the end of March or April at the latest, the regional election headquarters will be formed.
  • Anyway we will have a guest book up and running from tomorrow or Friday at the latest so if you are dying to be a part of it all then you will have your chance.
  • A Justice Department spokesman said the advertising ban should be in place by the New Year at the latest.

late in the day (or North American game)

2
At a late stage in proceedings, especially too late to be useful: it’s a bit late in the day to go into all this
More example sentences
  • Numbness came a bit too late in the game for me, right on the heels of anger.
  • As for disclosure, as we pointed out, that seems to be coming a bit late in the game.
  • If he wanted to avoid tempting fate it's a bit late in the day.

of late

3
Recently: she’d been drinking too much of late
More example sentences
  • The girls are training very hard of late and a full panel has been evident in recent weeks.
  • A shame though, as I've been listening to her most recent two albums an awful lot of late.
  • The new jobs of late have been in supermarkets and call-centres, not laboratories.
Synonyms
recently, lately, latterly, in the past few days, in the last couple of weeks, in recent times;

Definition of late in:

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