from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Coming, occurring, continuing, or remaining after the correct, usual, or expected time; delayed: synonym: tardy.
  • adjective Occurring at an advanced hour, especially well into the evening or night.
  • adjective Of or toward the end or more advanced part, as of a period or stage.
  • adjective Having begun or occurred just previous to the present time; recent.
  • adjective Contemporary; up-to-date.
  • adjective Having recently occupied a position or place.
  • adjective Dead, especially if only recently deceased: synonym: dead.
  • adverb After the expected, usual, or proper time.
  • adverb At or until an advanced hour.
  • adverb At or into an advanced period or stage.
  • adverb Recently.
  • idiom (of late) Recently; lately.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • After the usual time or the time appointed; after delay: as, fruits that ripen late.
  • Not long since; recently; of late.
  • Beyond the usual or proper time: as, to lie abed late.
  • noun A sound; voice.
  • A Middle English form of let.
  • See lait.
  • Coming, appearing, or continuing after the usual or proper time; slow or tardy; long delayed; prolonged; behind time: opposed to early: as, a late arrival; a late summer; a late embryo.
  • Being or coming near the end or close; far advanced in time; last: as, a late hour of the day; a late period of life; set the latest time you can.
  • Recent; of recent origin or existence; not of old date: as, the latest fashion; late news.
  • Comparatively recent (with reference to something older); of a comparatively recent date or period: as, late (medieval) glass; late (Greek) sculpture or epigraphy.
  • Recently existing, but not now; not long past: as, the late rains.
  • Recently acting; in a series, immediately preceding that which now exists: as, the late administration.
  • Deceased.
  • Synonyms Recent, Fresh, etc. See new.
  • Slow or backward in bearing crops, because heavy, clayey, cold, sour, or unfavorably situated as regards the sun, or the like: as, late land.
  • noun Manner; behavior.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Coming after the time when due, or after the usual or proper time; not early; slow; tardy; long delayed.
  • adjective Far advanced toward the end or close
  • adjective Existing or holding some position not long ago, but not now; recently deceased, departed, or gone out of office
  • adjective Not long past; happening not long ago; recent
  • adjective Continuing or doing until an advanced hour of the night
  • adverb After the usual or proper time, or the time appointed; after delay; ; -- opposed to early.
  • adverb Not long ago; lately.
  • adverb Far in the night, day, week, or other particular period
  • adverb in time not long past, or near the present; lately.
  • adverb after the proper or available time; when the time or opportunity is past.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Manner; behaviour; outward appearance or aspect.
  • noun A sound; voice.
  • adjective Near the end of a period of time.
  • adjective Specifically, near the end of the day.
  • adjective Associated with the end of a period.
  • adjective Not arriving until after an expected time.
  • adjective Not having had an expected menstrual period.
  • adjective not comparable, euphemistic Deceased, dead: used particularly when speaking of the dead person's actions while alive. (Often used with the; see usage notes.)


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English læt; see lē- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English late, lat, from Old English læt ("slow; slack, lax, negligent; late"), from Proto-Germanic *lataz (“slow, lazy”), from Proto-Indo-European *lē(y)d- (“to weaken, tire, relax, subside”). Cognate with Scots lat ("late"), West Frisian let ("late"), Dutch laat ("late"), German lass ("dull, limp"), Swedish lat ("idle, lazy"), Icelandic latur ("lazy"), Latin lassus ("weary, faint").


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  • "'They go wrong, these parachute jumps,' said the apprentice, as if he had picked up the direction of her thoughts. 'There was a man in the Botswana Defence Force whose parachute didn't open. That man is late now.'"

    - 'The Full Cupboard of Life', Alexander McCall Smith.

    March 18, 2008

  • I can't believe I forgot I had class this morning. I'm on the train right now (9.30), and my class started at 9.

    December 9, 2009

  • Oh, Pro. We've all been there.

    December 9, 2009