Definition of latter in English:


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  • 1Situated or occurring nearer to the end of something than to the beginning.

    ‘the latter half of 1989’
    • ‘heart disease dogged his latter years’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Good fishing reported in the latter half of the week with good hatches of olives and mayflies all over the lake.’
    • ‘Well, Quine was probably the most important theorist of knowledge of the latter half of the twentieth century.’
    • ‘Somehow, I managed to get away with only posting on here almost once a month for the latter half of the year.’
    • ‘So we did eat quite well, like when we were on the latter half of the tour.’
    • ‘The Haldiram saga was also well mapped, but I did nod off towards the latter half.’
    • ‘You spent the first half of the week recalling the previous weekend and the latter half wishing the week forward to the next.’
    • ‘Indeed, if you do not, I would suggest that most of the latter half of the book would be unrelenting in its dullness.’
    • ‘The company was initially keen to establish export markets, a policy which has paid off in the latter half of this century.’
    • ‘In the latter half of the 1990s there has been some waning of political focus on the issue of immigration.’
    • ‘Asparagus was not grown on a large scale in N. America until the latter half of the 19th century.’
    • ‘The latter half of the book - on the necessity and the nature of missions - is heavier going.’
    • ‘The freight and passenger traffic is greater in the latter part of the week than at the beginning of the week.’
    • ‘In the latter stages of cooking add water chestnuts, small corns, green beans and a tin of coconut milk.’
    • ‘Had he missed the goal that point would have been very important in the latter stages of the game.’
    • ‘My mother is in the latter stages of pregnancy and her health is extremely weak.’
    • ‘In the latter half of the 1840s, Britain was plunged into deep depression.’
    • ‘The latter half of my previous letter, will in part, explain why.’
    later, hindmost, closing, end, concluding, final
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    1. 1.1Recent.
      ‘the project had low cash flows in its latter years’
      • ‘The latter event came closest to threatening the singer's customary composure.’
      latest, most recent, modern
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  • 2the latterDenoting the second or second mentioned of two people or things.

    ‘the Russians could advance into either Germany or Austria—they chose the latter option’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At present, I would say the balance of possibilities is tending towards the latter option.’
    • ‘I took the latter option, and less than a month later found myself a new job with my current employer.’
    • ‘If you were honest, you probably identified more with the latter option in each case.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, it is to the latter that we will turn, and to which the second half of this chapter will be devoted.’
    • ‘A lucky shot from the second assassin finally killed the ambassador as the latter ran off.’
    • ‘In football, the latter part of the equation does not seem to apply.’
    • ‘If anything, the emphasis has shifted progressively from the latter to the former.’
    • ‘Of course, the 1979 constitution subordinated the latter to the former.’
    • ‘The latter in turn, blamed the shoppers who barged in without paying heed to instructions.’
    • ‘Oddly enough, I find the latter to be a more important bit of news.’
    • ‘We are still clinging tenaciously to the latter at the expense of the former.’
    • ‘On the whole, I think that this campaign tends toward the latter at the expense of the former.’
    last-mentioned, second-mentioned, second of the two, second, last, later
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/ˈladər/ /ˈlædər/


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 former


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