Ask Difference

Late Definition and Meaning

By Maham Liaqat & Fiza Rafique — Updated on March 6, 2024
Late means occurring or being after the usual or expected time. e.g., She apologized for arriving late to the meeting.

Late Definitions

After the expected or usual time.
The train was late again today.
Toward the end of a period.
It was late in the evening when they arrived.
Deceased or no longer living.
The painting was a work of the late artist.
Most recent or near the present time.
In his late works, the writer explored new themes.
Delayed or overdue in happening.
Their response to the offer was late and missed the deadline.
Being in the final part of a pregnancy.
She is in her late trimester.
Belated or after the fact.
He offered a late apology for the misunderstanding.
Having developed or matured slower than expected.
The crops were late due to the cold spring.
Staying or remaining active or awake after the usual time.
They worked late into the night to finish the project.
Being in an advanced stage of a period.
It was late autumn and the leaves had fallen.
Coming, occurring, continuing, or remaining after the correct, usual, or expected time; delayed
A late breakfast.
A late meeting.
Occurring at an advanced hour, especially well into the evening or night
A late movie on television.
The late flight to Denver.
Of or toward the end or more advanced part, as of a period or stage
The late 19th century.
A later symptom of the disease.
Having begun or occurred just previous to the present time; recent
A late development.
Contemporary; up-to-date
The latest fashion.
Having recently occupied a position or place
The company's late president gave the address.
Dead, especially if only recently deceased
In memory of the late explorer.
After the expected, usual, or proper time
A train that arrived late.
Woke late and had to skip breakfast.
At or until an advanced hour
Talked late into the evening.
At or into an advanced period or stage
A project undertaken late in her career.
As late as last week he was still in town.
Near the end of a period of time.
It was late in the evening when we finally arrived.
Specifically, near the end of the day.
It was getting late and I was tired.
Associated with the end of a period.
Late Latin is less fully inflected than classical Latin.
Not arriving until after an expected time.
Even though we drove as fast as we could, we were still late.
Panos was so late that he arrived at the meeting after Antonio, who had the excuse of being in hospital for most of the night.
Not having had an expected menstrual period.
I'm late, honey. Could you buy a test?
Deceased, dead: used particularly when speaking of the dead person's actions while alive. the"; see usage notes.}}
Her late husband had left her well provided for.
The piece was composed by the late Igor Stravinsky.
Existing or holding some position not long ago, but not now; departed, or gone out of office.
The late bishop of London
The late administration
Recent — relative to the noun it modifies.
(astronomy) Of a star or class of stars, cooler than the sun.
(informal) A shift (scheduled work period) that takes place late in the day or at night.
After a deadline has passed, past a designated time.
We drove as fast as we could, but we still arrived late.
Formerly, especially in the context of service in a military unit.
Colonel Easterwood, late of the 34th Carbines, was a guest at the dinner party.
The Hendersons will all be there / Late of Pablo Fanque's Fair / What a scene!
Not long ago; just now.
Coming after the time when due, or after the usual or proper time; not early; slow; tardy; long delayed; as, a late spring.
Far advanced toward the end or close; as, a late hour of the day; a late period of life.
Existing or holding some position not long ago, but not now; recently deceased, departed, or gone out of office; as, the late bishop of London; the late administration.
Not long past; happening not long ago; recent; as, the late rains; we have received late intelligence.
Continuing or doing until an advanced hour of the night; as, late revels; a late watcher.
After the usual or proper time, or the time appointed; after delay; as, he arrived late; - opposed to early.
Not long ago; lately.
Far in the night, day, week, or other particular period; as, to lie abed late; to sit up late at night.
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
In the middle years
In his middle thirties
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
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
Having died recently;
Her late husband
Of a later stage in the development of a language or literature; used especially of dead languages;
Late Greek
Middle English is the English language from about 1100 to 1500
Middle Gaelic
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
(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
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
To an advanced time;
Deep into the night
Talked late into the evening
At an advanced age or stage;
She married late
Undertook the project late in her career
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

Late Snonyms


Not having arrived, happened, or been done by the expected time.
The library book was overdue.


Late, especially habitually.
He was reprimanded for being tardy to meetings.


Put off (an action or event) to a later time; postpone.
The decision was deferred until the next meeting.


Cause or arrange for (something) to take place at a time later than that first scheduled.
The concert was postponed due to rain.


Not happening or doing something at the agreed or proper time.
His unpunctual arrival was becoming a pattern.


Made to happen or arrive later than planned.
The train was delayed due to unforeseen circumstances.


Coming or happening later than should have been the case.
He offered his belated apologies.


At a place or position further back; lagging.
She was running behind schedule.


Extended in time; prolonged.
The negotiation process was protracted and difficult.


Falling behind; not keeping pace.
He was lagging in his studies compared to his classmates.

Late Idioms & Phrases

Better late than never

It's better to do something late than not at all.
He finally finished his degree, better late than never.

Late in the day

Too late to be useful or to change the outcome.
They tried to change the plan, but it was late in the day for such adjustments.

Late bloomer

Someone who becomes successful or matures later than others.
She was a late bloomer in her career but achieved a lot.

Stay up late

To remain awake past the usual bedtime.
We stayed up late watching movies.

The late great

Referring to someone admired who has died.
The concert was a tribute to the late great Aretha Franklin.

Late to the party

Being slow to notice or act on something.
He was late to the party when it came to investing in technology.

Fashionably late

Arriving slightly late to an event on purpose.
She made a fashionably late entrance to the gala.

Too little, too late

An effort that is insufficient and comes after the time it would have been useful.
His apology was seen as too little, too late.


Someone who stays up late, especially to work or study.
I'm a late-nighter during exam periods.

Not a minute too late

Just in time; almost late.
The rescue team arrived not a minute too late.

In the late stages

In the final parts of a process or period.
The project is in the late stages and almost complete.

Late of

Recently but no longer in a particular place or position.
John Smith, late of New York, has moved to Los Angeles.

The late show

A television show broadcast late in the evening.
He was interviewed on the late show last night.

Late-breaking news

News that develops and is reported just before broadcast or publication.
We have some late-breaking news on the election results.

At the late hour

At a time that is considered late.
Deciding to leave at such a late hour was unusual for them.

Until late

Continuing until a late hour.
The café is open until late on weekends.

Dead of night/late at night

Very late in the night, usually when it's quiet and dark.
The streets were empty in the dead of night.

It's getting late

An expression used to indicate that it is becoming late in the day or evening.
We should start heading back; it's getting late.

A day late and a dollar short

Too late and inadequate in resources or effort.
Their attempt to rectify the issue was a day late and a dollar short.

In the late hours

During the final hours of the day or night.
They finished the project in the late hours.

Late Example Sentences

I'm sorry for being late to the party.
The flowers bloom late in this climate.
She discovered her passion for music in her late 20s.
It's getting late; we should head home.
We heard about the decision too late to act on it.
He often stayed up late studying for exams.
The sequel to the book was published in the late author's honor.
They enjoyed a late breakfast on the weekend.
The late arrival of the shipment caused delays in production.
The memorial honored the late community leader.
The festival takes place in late September.
News of the accident reached us late.
She made a late entry into the competition.
He was known for his late-night walks.
The project was completed in the late hours of the evening.

Common Curiosities

How many syllables are in late?

There is one syllable in late.

Why is it called late?

It's called late from the Old English 'læt', meaning slow or tardy, reflecting something that happens after the expected time.

What is the verb form of late?

Late is primarily an adjective; it does not have a verb form.

What part of speech is late?

Late is an adjective.

How do we divide late into syllables?

Late is a single syllable word and is not divided.

What is a stressed syllable in late?

Since late is a single syllable word, the entire word is stressed.

How is late used in a sentence?

Late is used to indicate something occurring after the expected or usual time, e.g., The meeting started late.

What is the pronunciation of late?

Late is pronounced as /leɪt/.

What is the root word of late?

The root of late is the Old English word 'læt', which means slow or tardy.

Is late an abstract noun?

No, late is not an abstract noun; it is an adjective and can also be used as an adverb.

Is late a negative or positive word?

Late is generally seen in a neutral to negative light, often indicating a delay or tardiness.

Is late a vowel or consonant?

The word late starts with a consonant.

Is the word “late” a Direct object or an Indirect object?

Late, being an adjective or adverb, does not serve as a direct or indirect object but describes or modifies nouns or verbs.

Is late an adverb?

Late can also be used as an adverb to describe the timing of an action, e.g., "He arrived late."

Is late a countable noun?

Late is not a noun; it's an adjective and can also function as an adverb.

Is the late term a metaphor?

Late can be used metaphorically to describe something that is delayed in its occurrence or development.

Which determiner is used with late?

Determiners such as "the" or possessive pronouns can be used with late when it modifies a noun, e.g., "the late arrival" or "my late friend."

Is late a collective noun?

No, late is not a collective noun; it is an adjective and can also be used as an adverb.

Which vowel is used before late?

The vowel "a" can be used before late in phrases like "a late dinner."

Which article is used with late?

The definite article "the" is often used with late when it modifies a specific noun, e.g., "the late news."

What is the opposite of late?

The opposite of late could be early or timely.

Is late a noun or adjective?

Late is an adjective.

Is the word late imperative?

Late cannot be used in the imperative mood as it is not a verb.

Is the word late Gerund?

Late does not have a gerund form as it is not a verb.

What is another term for late?

Another term for late is tardy.

What is the singular form of late?

Late does not have a singular or plural form; it remains the same as it is an adjective.

What is the plural form of late?

Late does not have a plural form as it is an adjective.

Which preposition is used with late?

Prepositions like "in" or "for" can be used with late depending on the context, e.g., "late in the evening" or "too late for apologies."

Which conjunction is used with late?

Conjunctions like "and" or "but" can be used with late to connect ideas, e.g., "late and tired" or "late but safe."

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Maham Liaqat
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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