Definition of late in English:

late

Syllabification: late
Pronunciation: /lāt
 
/

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
behind schedule, behind time, behindhand;
tardy, running late, overdue, belated, delayed
2Belonging or taking place near the end of a particular time or period: they won the game with a late goal
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.
2.1 [attributive] Denoting 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 into the day or night: I’m sorry the call is so late it’s too late for lunch
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 toward 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 William Jennings Bryan 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
dead, departed, lamented, passed on/away, deceased
3.1No longer having the specified status; former: a late colleague of mine
4 (latest) Of 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, just released, up-to-the-minute
newest, just out, fresh, freshest, up-to-date, state-of-the-art, au courant, dernier cri, current, modern, contemporary, fashionable, in fashion, in vogue;
newfangled
informal in, with it, trendy, hip, hot, big, funky, happening, cool, styling/stylin'

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
2Toward the end of a period: it happened late in 1984
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 into 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
informal till all hours
2.2 (later) At a time in the near future; afterward: I’ll see you later later on it will be easier
Synonyms
subsequently, eventually, then, next, later on, after this/that, afterward, at a later date, in the future, in due course, by and by, in a while, in time
afterward, later on, after, after that, subsequently, following
formal thereafter
3 (late of) Formerly but not now living or working in a specified place or institution: Captain Falconer, late of the British army

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.

Phrases

at the latest

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 game (or day)

At a late stage in proceedings, especially too late to be useful.
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

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.

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