Definition of latter in English:


Syllabification: lat·ter
Pronunciation: /ˈlatər


  • 1Situated or occurring nearer to the end of something than to the beginning: the latter half of 1989 heart disease dogged his latter years
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    • The real significance was the difference in tone and style between the beginning of his speech and the latter half.
    • Violent times for the poor reigned in the latter half of the last century and into the beginning of this one.
    • Joining in the programme in the latter half, she will talk about her career, her father and her music.
    later, closing, end, concluding, final; latest, most recent
  • 1.1Recent: the project had low cash flows in its latter years
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    • The latter event came closest to threatening the singer's customary composure.
  • 2 (the latter) Denoting the second or second mentioned of two people or things: the Russians could advance into either Germany or Austria—they chose the latter option
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    • I mention the latter because of what we both saw under a tree some distance from us.
    • If dealer does the latter, a second round of bidding occurs in which eldest hand has the right to name the trump suit.
    • To be or not to be - I'm rubbish at the former, and the latter isn't an option.
    last-mentioned, second, last, later


Old English lætra 'slower,' comparative of læt (see late).


Latter means ‘the second-mentioned of two.’ Its use to mean ‘the last-mentioned of three or more’ is common, but is considered incorrect by some because latter means ‘later’ rather than ‘latest.’ Last or last-mentioned is preferred where three or more things are involved. See also former1 (usage).

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