Definitions

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

  • adjective Being the second of two persons or things mentioned.
  • adjective Near or nearer to the end.
  • adjective Further advanced in time or sequence; later.
  • noun The second of two persons or things mentioned.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Later; more advanced or more recent; nearer to the close or to the present time: as, the latter part of the day, or of one's life; in these latter days.
  • Coming after another person or thing in consideration or relation; being the second of two or of a dual division in order of existence or of mention: opposed to former: as, I prefer the latter proposition to the former.
  • Last; latest; final.

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

  • adjective Later; more recent; coming or happening after something else; -- opposed to former.
  • adjective Of two things, the one mentioned second.
  • adjective Recent; modern.
  • adjective rare Last; latest; final.
  • adjective the last part of the harvest.
  • adjective the last part of the spring of the year.

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

  • adjective relating to or being the second of two items
  • adjective near (or nearer) to the end
  • adjective close (or closer) to the present time

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective referring to the second of two things or persons mentioned (or the last one or ones of several)
  • noun the second of two or the second mentioned of two

Etymologies

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

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English lætra.

Examples

Comments

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  • There hath he lain for ages and will lie

    Battening upon huge sea-worms in his sleep,

    Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;

    —Tennyson, 'The Kraken Wakes'

    In OED sense 3. a.: "last"; used here in reference to future time. It is odd that the OED doesn't use this line as a quotation for this sense.

    July 15, 2008