Meaning of late in English:


Pronunciation /leɪt/

See synonyms for late

Translate late into Spanish


  • 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There was a closed-door session for about an hour, and then one of the jurors was late for court.’
    • ‘Anyways, I showed up a few minutes late for the competition and missed the first two teams' routines.’
    • ‘It results in missing hospital appointments or being late for appointments because there are no useable parking spaces.’
    • ‘She looked at her watch several times as she was getting worried that she would be late for an important meeting with a client.’
    • ‘Make-up and jewellery are worn openly and pupils are late for school ‘with impunity’.’
    • ‘But she says buses regularly fail to show up leaving her late for work.’
    • ‘Well - as always, Ann was late, I swear that girl will be late for her own funeral.’
    • ‘But there were others who were late for meetings and getting quite angry.’
    • ‘The Dublin band were late for the soundcheck, but their crew said to go ahead and set up and everything would be okay.’
    • ‘Management loved him, except for the fact that he was always a few minutes late for work.’
    • ‘I left my phone number and drove back to school, by now late for my rehearsal.’
    • ‘I'd better hurry up, have my shower and get dressed or I'll be late for lunch.’
    • ‘I then looked at the clock to realize that I was an hour late for work!’
    • ‘Although, I'm sure Shawna was often fashionably late to her classes just like all of her popular friends.’
    • ‘Her plight is merely a bureaucratic blunder but she has left it too late to save the day.’
    • ‘Arriving nearly an hour late for a scheduled meeting, she smiles and goes directly for the photo session.’
    • ‘I rushed home, practically a half-hour late for work already.’
    behind time, behind schedule, behind, behindhand
    View 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Two late goals gave Crewe their first win since the opening day of the season as they beat Luton 3-1.’
    • ‘It seemed fitting fare for a late breakfast on a day you're giving to yourself.’
    • ‘On the 25th December after a late, and simple breakfast, we walked along the beach and back into the palm groves.’
    • ‘Allie was in her early twenties, young very pretty and I was in my late forties.’
    • ‘Second of all, it comes so late in the game.’
    • ‘I had arrived quite late in the day when dusk was falling.’
    • ‘Depending on the weather, Phil provides 25-40 gallons per tree per week late in the season.’
    • ‘They taste the best because the Cabernet grapes ripen late in the season - in September or even October.’
    • ‘And the six-year-old company spent the late 1990s developing software to connect Internet applications.’
    • ‘The narrative halts for a paragraph to depict the dreary marsh landscape on a late winter afternoon.’
    • ‘The advancement of a counterclaim at this late stage did give me some concern.’
    1. 2.1Denoting or belonging to the advanced stage of a historical period or cultural movement.
      ‘the late 1960s’
      • ‘late Gothic style’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘By the late 1990s, about three-fourths of all Americans lived in urban areas.’
      • ‘Wheelchair Rugby is a sport that was developed in Canada in the late 1970s.’
      • ‘Following the baby boom, fertility rates declined over the late 1960s and 1970s.’
      • ‘Cobain guessed from his clothing that he was from the mid to late 1800s.’
      • ‘Reporters in the late 1800s kept their stories short to save on telegraph charges.’
      • ‘During the late 1800s, brass bands became a vital element of rural culture.’
      • ‘Now, in the late fifties, a debate began over whether to extend benefits to the unmarried.’
      • ‘In the mid to late fifties, guys spent all their time souping up older cars with whatever parts they could find.’
      • ‘They lived in Thorncliffe Road, off Fell Lane, Keighley from 1936 to the late sixties.’
      • ‘I expect some passionate objections particularly to my coverage of the late 20th Century.’
      • ‘The farm covered 1,000 acres and employed labourers as recently as the late 18th century.’
      • ‘West Asian reform movements arrived in the late nineteenth century, sparking an Islamic revival.’
      • ‘Faull added that the majority of people did not believe in the value of banknotes, right up until the late 19th century.’
      • ‘Until the late sixth century, informed guesswork must make do for history.’
    2. 2.2Far on in the day or night.
      ‘I'm sorry the call is so late’
      • ‘it's too late for sherry’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Misty evenings and star-studded night skies form the perfect backdrop for late night partying.’
      • ‘It has become a base for late night drinking parties which constantly disturb neighbouring residents.’
      • ‘She said the town had developed a bad reputation as a result of problems arising from late night take-aways.’
      • ‘Even the underage foreigners are tempted into the late night activities.’
      • ‘Off out on a search for football and cheap drinks - won't be a late night as have full day of lectures tomorrow and showing up hungover for them won't be good.’
      • ‘No matter, I have started my regime of discipline - I am going to avoid late nights as best as I can.’
      • ‘They are especially short on volunteers during the late night and early morning shifts.’
      • ‘Take a stroll through the centre of the town late at night on any given weekend and you will see exactly what I'm on about.’
      • ‘The behaviour of some of the late night revellers almost beggars belief.’
      • ‘The guys were keeping me up at night and I didn't sleep late in the mornings.’
      • ‘I knew I shouldn't have come out so late at night alone!’
      • ‘A place which hums all day every day and where the working hours are late for everyone and a lunch break is still not very fashionable.’
      • ‘It is late afternoon and the stage glows orange as the sun is getting lower in the sky.’
      • ‘Deacon returned me to my home late in the evening with a promise to call me soon.’
    3. 2.3Flowering or ripening towards the end of the season.
      ‘the last late chrysanthemums’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Acidantheras have a wonderful scent and are excellent for late flowering.’
  • 3the/one's late(of a specified person) no longer alive.

    ‘the late Francis Bacon’
    • ‘her late husband's grave’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was husband of the late Evelyn and was a popular and well liked member of the local rural community.’
    • ‘My naked face has been likened to a canvas by my late artist husband, and like a boiled egg by my own observation.’
    • ‘The late King's grave is marked by an inscription in the floor and by a plaque, in the wall above, showing his head.’
    • ‘Most of all, she said she draws to keep her late mother's and grandmother's spirit alive.’
    • ‘The late Mary is survived by her devoted husband, Paddy and her son, daughter and grandchildren.’
    • ‘She may be going to the Supreme Court to get some money from her late husband.’
    • ‘I am sure, though, she will be comforted by the fact that her late husband touched the lives of so many in such a positive way.’
    • ‘After the inquest his widow Joan described her late husband as a ‘gentleman in every sense of the word’.’
    • ‘Bridget was a hard worker as was her late husband James and together they reared a family of four in very difficult times.’
    • ‘It's a tape of her and her late husband talking about his financial plans for her.’
    • ‘I married my late husband when he was a widower after he retired and I accept that as a result I am not entitled to any pension from him.’
    • ‘She and her late husband Jack, who died 20 years ago, took up bowls together.’
    • ‘This included her engagement ring given to her by her late husband.’
    • ‘For her late husband, David, who died this summer, was one of the villagers who had previously rung the bell.’
    • ‘It was at a dance that she met her late husband, Bill, who she married in 1937.’
    • ‘She was a devoted wife to her late husband Tom, and mother to her five children.’
    • ‘This is the first time that Sheila, aged 46, has spoken publicly about her late husband.’
    dead, deceased, departed, lamented, passed away, passed on, lost, expired, gone, extinct, perished
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1No longer having the specified status; former.
      • ‘a late colleague of mine’
      previous, preceding, former, past, prior, earlier, as was, sometime, one-time, ex-, erstwhile, old, defunct, precedent, foregoing, no longer extant
      View synonyms


  • 1After the expected, proper, or usual time.

    ‘she arrived late’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘To be sure, one can arrive late and leave early, confounding the schedule's disciplining force.’
    • ‘I arrived half an hour late because Dad lost his palm pilot and couldn't remember what time school started.’
    • ‘He arrives late this morning, and is behaving out of character.’
    • ‘He said hundreds of commuters already arrive late each day after sitting in buses crawling through rush-hour jams.’
    • ‘When the post arrives late it means my staff are waiting around.’
    • ‘He came to interview me as defence secretary and arrived 45 minutes late.’
    • ‘I arrived in Wolverhampton late this evening, as I'm doing a small part in a short film here tomorrow.’
    • ‘If our mail arrived late we were advised this was due to staff shortages or holidays and the postman had to do another round first.’
    • ‘The stewardess told them if they were to arrive another minute late, the plane would have already taken off.’
    • ‘They arrived four minutes late and incurred a 40 second penalty which dropped them to fourth.’
    • ‘I arrived Shanghai late and tired so I will add more pictures tomorrow night on this page.’
    • ‘Four hours later we boarded another plane and finally arrived in Vancouver late, but alive.’
    • ‘She is late and I am edgy, expecting a group of tough females in hoods and trainers.’
    • ‘I sprang into action and started to run for the hole but remembered too late the girl behind me.’
    • ‘Eventually, clothing was suitably sorted and we set off, arriving a fashionable 30 minutes late.’
    • ‘While in Mexico, my host family and I would often arrive at events thirty or forty minutes late.’
    • ‘Department management has promised to make the payments no later than June 17.’
    behind schedule, behind time, behindhand, unpunctually, belatedly, tardily, at the last minute, at the tail end
    after hours, after office hours, overtime, past the usual closing time, past the usual finishing time, past the usual stopping time
    View synonyms
  • 2Far on in time; towards the end of a period.

    ‘it happened late in 1994’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The parties concluded their submissions late in the afternoon of Friday 1 September.’
    • ‘The third and final partition that extinguished the Polish state came late in 1795.’
    • ‘Since I first moved to London late in 1989, Hungerford Bridge has been an important landmark for me.’
    • ‘He won some points though late in August and I never made scalping jokes after that.’
    • ‘It had as much effect on the outcome as Brazil joining the Allies late in the Second World War.’
    • ‘Rose selected only those flies that reproduced late in life and bred them with one another.’
    • ‘A beautiful blue lake on its summit is frozen till late in the year and offers excellent skating ground.’
    • ‘When he wrote his memoirs late in life, he recalled that this father had been a children's book writer.’
    • ‘When we visited it late in 1998 the foundations were laid for an extension to the building.’
    • ‘An absolute high point of achievement was to sing so late in his life, in the Reconciliation choir.’
    • ‘Our family visited one of your immigration detention centres late in September.’
    • ‘Then late in the summer comes the fateful day when you discover your results.’
    • ‘Council chiefs say the new prices, due to come in late in January, are in line with neighbouring towns and cities.’
    • ‘In other words, it turned up on the Times website late in the morning of that day, Canberra time.’
    • ‘It is believed that hormones are involved and women who have their first child late in life or who have no children are more at risk.’
    • ‘Smokers only eat to enjoy the fag afterwards, so food is a pleasure that I've discovered late in life.’
    • ‘Most are performed late in the second trimester, which ends at 27 weeks into pregnancy.’
    1. 2.1At or until a time far on in the day or night.
      ‘now I'm old enough to stay up late’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I stayed up late every night and had my own bar vouchers, and was allowed to buy Cokes and ice creams.’
      • ‘It was New Years Day, and everyone was a little sleepy from staying up so late the night before.’
      • ‘Jo stays up late that night, but just as she is falling asleep she heard Beth sobbing in the next room.’
      • ‘Do you advise staying up late the night before to revise?’
      • ‘I stayed up late every night dreaming of being the lead singer of the greatest metal band.’
      • ‘He'd stayed up late the night before with some of his younger generals and officers drinking to celebrate their return.’
      • ‘She had stayed up late every night and gotten up early every day to get in some more work and homework.’
      • ‘They had stayed up rather late the night before and Kelly was exhausted.’
      • ‘If anyone showed up or someone stayed late at night, a feast would be easily prepared.’
      • ‘She stayed at the store late every night to get extra practice and work more on her guitar.’
      • ‘She had stayed up considerably too late the night before and was definitely feeling the effects of it.’
      • ‘Try to get up at the same time every morning, even if you stayed up late the night before.’
      • ‘One night, she stayed so late he suggested she stay, putting a bolster in the middle of the bed so she wouldn't feel threatened.’
      • ‘So tired, as I got home really late last night (this morning) and then couldn't get off to sleep.’
      • ‘A calm morning, as if the gods partied late last night and they are still sleeping fitfully.’
      late at night, till the early hours of the morning
      View synonyms
  • 3late ofFormerly but not now living or working in a specified place or institution.

    • ‘Mrs Halford, late of the County Records Office’


    better late than never
    • It is better to do something or arrive after the expected time than not do it or arrive at all.

      ‘it took them the majority of the campaign to come to that conclusion, but better late than never’
      • ‘The team have probably left such a move about five years too late, but it's better late than never.’
      • ‘After breakfast the boys go straight to work on math—better late than never, right?’
      • ‘Well, better late than never, for the timing of this exhibition.’
      • ‘The website seems to have been very lethargic today, so I gave up after a while and went off to do more productive things—ah well, better late than never.’
      • ‘Better late than never, the newspaper ran a good review of the book over the weekend.’
    late in the day
    • 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There is disbelief that the US, rather late in the day, has decided that this is a crusade for human rights.’
      • ‘Is it not a bit late in the day to talk of probe considering that the contracts were signed several years ago?’
      • ‘We talked all around the subject today without actually touching on it until really rather late in the day.’
      • ‘It is rather late in the day for the regulator to see the advantages of letting managers manage.’
      • ‘This may be a bit late in the day for us to try to sort that out.’
      • ‘Well, it was raised by the appellant rather late in the day, your Honour.’
      • ‘White finally gets the right idea but rather too late in the day.’
      • ‘But the suggestion that it might have come a bit late in the day to resuscitate his reputation was left unsaid.’
      • ‘I am no dog-breeder, but this seems rather late in the day for thinking of future litters.’
      • ‘And it's a bit late in the day to be making major changes to an almost completed plan.’
      • ‘I put a lot of skepticism in anything a campaign or its supporters tell me about polls this late in the game.’
      • ‘A little late in the game, but we'd be at home for the holiday for the first time.’
      • ‘Observers on both sides predict a tight contest that will not be decided until late in the game.’
      • ‘So I guess it's almost a little late in the game for a lot of folks to start evacuating in that area.’
      • ‘It just seems a little late in the day to be lamenting Edwardian repression.’
      • ‘The two sides moved toward a compromise on this issue late in the day but remained short of an agreement.’
    of late
    • Recently.

      ‘she'd been drinking too much of late’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Does the party retain its basic commitment to the free market or has it become more communitarian of late?’
      • ‘It seems I am not the only one to have suffered unending frustrations of late.’
      • ‘I am sure many readers would agree with me when I say that life seems to be increasingly hectic of late.’
      • ‘This has been a problem for many years and has become a lot worse of late.’
      • ‘We have been poorly served by the media of late and shooting the messenger is not going to fix it.’
      • ‘This is not a moan or a gripe but something that's been puzzling me of late.’
      • ‘Which is good as it'll be a little more civilised than I've been used to of late.’


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’, let, and let.