What does timely mean?

Definitions for timely
ˈtaɪm litime·ly

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. timelyadjective

    before a time limit expires

    "the timely filing of his income tax return"

  2. timely, seasonable, well-timed(a), well timed(p)adverb

    done or happening at the appropriate or proper time

    "a timely warning"; "with timely treatment the patient has a good chance of recovery"; "a seasonable time for discussion"; "the book's publication was well timed"

  3. seasonably, timely, well-timed, aproposadverb

    at an opportune time

    "your letter arrived apropos"


  1. timelyadverb

    In good time; early, quickly.

  2. timelyadverb

    At the right time; seasonably.

  3. timelyadjective

    Done at the proper time.

  4. timelyadjective

    Happening or appearing at the proper time.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Timelyadjective

    Seasonable; sufficiently early.

    Etymology: from time.

    The West glimmers with some streaks of day,
    Now spurs the lated traveller apace
    To gain the timely inn. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    Happy were I in my timely death;
    Could all my travels warrant me they live. William Shakespeare.

    Lest heat should hinder us, his timely care
    Hath unbesought provided. John Milton.

    I’ll to my charge,
    And show my duty by my timely care. Dryden.

  2. Timelyadverb

    Early; soon.

    Etymology: from time.

    The beds i’ th’ East are soft, and thanks to you,
    That call’d me timelier than my purpose hither. William Shakespeare.

    Sent to forewarn
    Us timely of what else might be our loss. John Milton.

    Timely advis’d, the coming evil shun;
    Better not do the deed, than weep it done. Matthew Prior.


  1. timely

    Punctuality is the characteristic of being able to complete a required task or fulfill an obligation before or at a previously designated time. "Punctual" is often used synonymously with "on time". An opposite personality trait is tardiness. According to each culture, there is often an understanding about what is considered an acceptable degree of punctuality. Usually, a small amount of lateness is acceptable; this is commonly about five to ten minutes in most Western cultures, but this is not the case in such instances as doctor's appointments.Some cultures have an unspoken understanding that actual deadlines are different from stated deadlines, for example with African time. For example, it may be understood in a particular culture that people will turn up an hour later than advertised. In this case, since everyone understands that a 9 pm party will actually start at around 10 pm, no-one is inconvenienced when everyone arrives at 10 pm.In cultures that value punctuality, being late is seen as disrespectful of others' time and may be considered insulting. In such cases, punctuality may be enforced by social penalties, for example by excluding low-status latecomers from meetings entirely. Such considerations can lead on to considering the value of punctuality in econometrics and to considering the effects of non-punctuality on others in queueing theory.


  1. timely

    Timely refers to an action, event, or situation occurring, done, or presented at a suitable, appropriate, or opportune time. It pertains to things happening or being done at exactly the right time, not too early or late. This term implies that something is fitting or appropriate given the circumstances or particular time period.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Timely

    being or occurring in good time; sufficiently early; seasonable

  2. Timely

    keeping time or measure

  3. Timelyadverb

    early; soon; in good season

How to pronounce timely?

How to say timely in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of timely in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of timely in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of timely in a Sentence

  1. Bruce Evans:

    To discover finds that are a fabrication, designed to mislead, is both fascinating and a timely reminder that we should always view any discovery with a critical eye.

  2. John Linder:

    I am the optimist. I tend to look a little further out, so right now with planting season upon us, I am more focused getting crops planted in a timely matter, but long term, NAFTA is a big deal. So, when I see emails pop in... they rank right up there with what is going on with North Korea.

  3. Keerthi Tennakoon:

    Sirisena delivered a timely message and neutralized the campaign of the corrupt Rajapaksa, now most of Rajapaksa's supporters will try to dissociate from him.

  4. Richard Dysart:

    They remain timely, with cases about points of law that are still current.

  5. The LTA:

    This will put LTA in the driving seat to make timely investments in capacity expansion and the replacement and upgrading of operating assets.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for timely

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for timely »


Find a translation for the timely definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"timely." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/timely>.

Discuss these timely definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for timely? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    change toward something smaller or lower
    A odometer
    B match
    C decline
    D rateables

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for timely: