What does late mean?

Definitions for late

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word late.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. lateadjective

    being or occurring at an advanced period of time or after a usual or expected time

    "late evening"; "late 18th century"; "a late movie"; "took a late flight"; "had a late breakfast"

  2. belated, late, tardyadjective

    after the expected or usual time; delayed

    "a belated birthday card"; "I'm late for the plane"; "the train is late"; "tardy children are sent to the principal"; "always tardy in making dental appointments"

  3. late(a), recentadjective

    of the immediate past or just previous to the present time

    "a late development"; "their late quarrel"; "his recent trip to Africa"; "in recent months"; "a recent issue of the journal"

  4. late(a)adjective

    having died recently

    "her late husband"

  5. lateadjective

    of a later stage in the development of a language or literature; used especially of dead languages

    "Late Greek"

  6. late, later(a)adjective

    at or toward an end or late period or stage of development

    "the late phase of feudalism"; "a later symptom of the disease"; "later medical science could have saved the child"

  7. former(a), late(a), previous(a)adverb

    (used especially of persons) of the immediate past

    "the former president"; "our late President is still very active"; "the previous occupant of the White House"

  8. late, belatedly, tardilyadverb

    later than usual or than expected

    "the train arrived late"; "we awoke late"; "the children came late to school"; "notice came so tardily that we almost missed the deadline"; "I belatedly wished her a happy birthday"

  9. deep, lateadverb

    to an advanced time

    "deep into the night"; "talked late into the evening"

  10. lateadverb

    at an advanced age or stage

    "she married late"; "undertook the project late in her career"

  11. recently, late, lately, of late, latterlyadverb

    in the recent past

    "he was in Paris recently"; "lately the rules have been enforced"; "as late as yesterday she was fine"; "feeling better of late"; "the spelling was first affected, but latterly the meaning also"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. LATEadjective

    Etymology: læt , Saxon; lact, Dutch.

    My hasting days flie on with full career,
    But my late spring no bud nor blossom sheweth. John Milton.

    Just was the vengeance, and to latest days
    Shall long posterity resound thy praise. Alexander Pope, Odyssey.

    All the difference between the late servants, and those who staid in the family, was, that those latter were finer gentlemen. Joseph Addison, Spectator, №. 107.

  2. Lateadverb

    O boy! thy father gave thee life too soon,
    And hath bereft thee of thy life too late. William Shakespeare, H. VI.

    Second Silvius after these appears,
    Silvius Æneas, for thy name he bears;
    For arms and justice equally renown’d,
    Who late restor’d in Alba shall be crown’d. John Dryden, Æn.

    He laughs at all the giddy turns of state,
    When mortals search too soon, and fear too late. Dryden.

    The later it is before any one comes to have these ideas, the later also will it be before he comes to those maxims. John Locke.

    I might have spar’d his life,
    But now it is too late. Ambrose Philips, Distrest Mother.

    To make roses, or other flowers, come late, is an experiment of pleasure; for the antients esteemed much of the rosa sera. Francis Bacon, Natural History.

    There be some flowers which come more early, and others which come more late, in the year. Francis Bacon, Nat. Hist.

    They arrived in that pleasant isle,
    Where sleeping late, she left her other knight. Fairy Qu.

    Men have of late made use of a pendulum, as a more steady regulator. John Locke.

    The goddess with indulgent cares,
    And social joys, the late transform’d repairs. Alexander Pope, Odys.

    From fresh pastures, and the dewy field,
    The lowing herds return, and round them throng
    With leaps and bounds the late imprison’d young. Alexander Pope.

    Was it so late, friend, ere you went to bed,
    That you do lie so late?
    —— Sir, we were carousing till the second cock. William Shakespeare.

    Late the nocturnal sacrifice begun,
    Nor ended, till the next returning sun. John Dryden, Æn.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Late

    coming after the time when due, or after the usual or proper time; not early; slow; tardy; long delayed; as, a late spring

  2. Late

    far advanced toward the end or close; as, a late hour of the day; a late period of life

  3. Late

    existing or holding some position not long ago, but not now; lately deceased, departed, or gone out of office; as, the late bishop of London; the late administration

  4. Late

    not long past; happening not long ago; recent; as, the late rains; we have received late intelligence

  5. Late

    continuing or doing until an advanced hour of the night; as, late revels; a late watcher

  6. Lateadjective

    after the usual or proper time, or the time appointed; after delay; as, he arrived late; -- opposed to early

  7. Lateadjective

    not long ago; lately

  8. Lateadjective

    far in the night, day, week, or other particular period; as, to lie abed late; to sit up late at night

  9. Etymology: [OE. lat slow, slack, AS. lt; akin to OS. lat, D. laat late, G. lass weary, lazy, slack, Icel. latr, Sw. lat, Dan. lad, Goth. lats, and to E. let, v. See Let to permit, and cf. Alas, Lassitude.]


  1. Late

    Late is the title of The 77s' eleventh album, released in 2000 on the bands own Fools of the World label.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Late

    lāt, adj. (comp. Lat′er; superl. Lat′est) slow, tardy; behindhand: coming after the expected time: long delayed: far advanced towards the close: last in any place or character: deceased: departed: out of office: not long past—also adv.adj. Lat′ed (Shak.), belated, being too late.—adv. Late′ly.—n. Late′ness, state of being late.—adv. Lat′er.—adj. Lat′ish, somewhat late. [A.S. læt, slow; Dut. laat, Ice. latr, Ger. lass, weary; L. lassus, tired.]

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. late

    In artillery and naval gunfire support, a report made to the observer or spotter, whenever there is a delay in reporting

Suggested Resources

  1. late

    Song lyrics by late -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by late on the Lyrics.com website.

  2. LATE

    What does LATE stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the LATE acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. LATE

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Late is ranked #150452 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Late surname appeared 109 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Late.

    81.6% or 89 total occurrences were White.
    8.2% or 9 total occurrences were Black.
    5.5% or 6 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'late' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #604

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'late' in Written Corpus Frequency: #807

  3. Adverbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'late' in Adverbs Frequency: #202

  4. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'late' in Adjectives Frequency: #24

Anagrams for late »

  1. atle

  2. leat

  3. laet

  4. tale

  5. tael

  6. teal

How to pronounce late?

How to say late in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of late in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of late in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of late in a Sentence

  1. Tom Robbins, Still Life with Woodpecker:

    Its never too late to have a happy childhood.

  2. David Letterman:

    I don’t miss late-night television, and I’m a little embarrassed that, for 33 years, it was the laser focus of my life.

  3. Donald Trump:

    I don't want to be so politically correct, it would be very easy for me to say something differently, and everyone would say, 'Oh, isn't that wonderful?' We better solve the problem before it's too late.

  4. Center Ryan Kesler:

    We played good enough to win, sometimes you're not going to win games. That's the way this league is. Five out of six points on the road is good, especially with the back-to-back( in Edmonton and Vancouver) here at the end and with travel and not getting in until late.

  5. Suzanne Somers:

    I’m around some of my friends who are my age or older, and they’re out of gas, i have great energy at this age. It’s great! But it’s never too late.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for late

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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    a wide scope
    • A. sweep
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