Definition of tardy in English:


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adjectiveadjective tardier, adjective tardiest

  • 1Delaying or delayed beyond the right or expected time; late.

    ‘please forgive this tardy reply’
    • ‘Thanks for the email and sorry about tardy reply, just out of five weeks in Afghanistan where I'd no access to this email address.’
    • ‘On one trip in Africa, a tardy photographer was left behind and had to catch us up in the next country.’
    • ‘But he was very tardy and unorganized, throwing off my schedule considerably…’
    • ‘In my years at Rio Rancho High School, I've been tardy to class and been busted for dress code, receiving my fair share of hours in after-school detention.’
    • ‘The ambassador's only doubt was whether ‘such tardy recognition’ of Chaplin's undisputed and long-held talents would be desirable at this time.’
    • ‘They're very strict about being absent and tardy.’
    • ‘This woman, dressed in a headscarf, long peasant dress and sweater, stands with her arms folded in front of her as if she is slightly cold or perhaps waiting for a tardy child.’
    • ‘We arrive too late to know if Feargal and the gang performed an ironic Here Comes The Summer, but thankfully we're not too tardy for Teenage Kicks - it's so hard to beat.’
    • ‘So I beg your forgiveness for being tardy with mail.’
    • ‘The other upside was that any school official who called my house to ask why I was tardy got assurances from ‘my mom’ that it was all her fault.’
    • ‘I've been tardy in finishing the New York photo scans… be patient with me… they will come sooner or later.’
    • ‘My first meeting was drawing to a close, the participants slinking out to Starbucks - a plan ruined by my tardy arrival, which meant they were doomed to repeat the salient points.’
    • ‘Students who are tardy to school for a third time receive $165 citations from Whittier, California, cops.’
    • ‘She broke up with me via a tardy phone call and letter for my birthday in May 2004 (a month late) and I haven't spoken to her since.’
    • ‘This is despite the introduction of late payment legislation three years ago that, in theory, allows a supplier to hit tardy payers with interest penalties.’
    • ‘It is a dire coach company in the UK, to be avoided at all costs for their provision of uncomfortable seats and tardy services.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, the notoriously tardy musician is late.’
    • ‘Strains of Sinatra's signature tune would have completed the snapshot of Britain's tardy and most controversial swimmer.’
    • ‘Next week I'll be less tardy and hopefully will get a spot.’
    • ‘It can use fuelling trucks but the trucks delay flights because of tardy, lazy drivers.’
    behind time, behind schedule, behind, behindhand
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    1. 1.1Slow in action or response; sluggish.
      ‘this makes the car feel tardy in quick maneuvers’
      • ‘As the scale of carnage became clear and the government response was seen as tardy, TV news anchors and reporters dropped reserve in favour of stinging comments from the heart.’
      • ‘I now view the American military with awe and admiration: it is as difficult to provoke the United States as it is to survive its eventual and tardy response.’
      • ‘It has been a long time coming and since AMD began its head-to-head battle with Intel's Athlon processor two years ago, this response is very tardy.’
      • ‘He praises the president for his action on Darfur, but laments the tardy and inadequate response to the overall situation.’
      • ‘Although the president said he would return to the Gulf Coast tomorrow, his initial response was deemed tardy and inadequate by many observers.’
      • ‘That is no excuse, though, for the tardy international response to a disaster which was not hidden from view but unfolded beneath our very eyes.’
      • ‘Here in Britain, the government response was similarly tardy.’
      • ‘A bankrupt political system has been a convenient peg on which to hang the blame for a consistently tardy response to humanitarian need.’
      • ‘Yet because the government has been tardy in its response, the initiative was lost, and it's likely the current economic malaise will only get worse.’
      • ‘The company is responsible for the tardy roll-out of broadband services in Britain according to a report out today.’
      • ‘Apologies if updates to this site or responses to e-mails are a bit tardy at the moment, I am in Venezuela working on some stories at the moment.’
      • ‘What needs to made clear at this point is some assumptions that lie behind this picture of tardy, incompetent, and detached management of the company by the shareholders.’
      • ‘The four AMCs have been tardy in valuing and auctioning off state assets, in large part due to the government's fear of selling them off on the cheap - especially to foreigners.’
      • ‘The unions make a strong accusation that companies have been tardy when it comes to financial participation.’
      • ‘The Jim Muldowney trained Aparelho was the warm 6/4 favourite for this event but after a tardy enough start was always playing catch-up.’
      • ‘The High Court judge recently criticised the tardy process and said taxpayers were footing the bill, including legal costs in successful claims.’
      • ‘The sure signs of the collapse are everywhere - nothing is moving; projects are not progressing; whatever work takes place happens at a tardy pace.’
      • ‘Howard's belated triumphalism in the South Pacific may be no more successful than Mussolini's equally tardy attempts at empire building in North Africa.’
      • ‘Although the West Lothian club have hardly been tardy with their hiring and firing in the past, they could point to some significant mitigating factors in defence of their abject start to the season.’
      slow, unhurried, tardy, unpunctual, lax, slack, sluggish, sluggardly, snail-like, tortoise-like, lazy, idle, indolent, slothful
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/ˈtärdē/ /ˈtɑrdi/


Mid 16th century from French tardif, -ive, from Latin tardus ‘slow’.