• Excavated foundation of a late 17th-century prototype of the Baltimore and Philadelphia row houses. Six families could have lived here
    Excavated foundation of a late 17th-century prototype of the Baltimore and Philadelphia row houses. Six families could have lived here
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj late having died recently "her late husband"
    • adj late 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"
    • adj late 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"
    • adj late of a later stage in the development of a language or literature; used especially of dead languages "Late Greek"
    • adj late (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"
    • adj late 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"
    • adj late 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"
    • adv late 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"
    • adv late 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"
    • adv late to an advanced time "deep into the night","talked late into the evening"
    • adv late at an advanced age or stage "she married late","undertook the project late in her career"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Late 17th-century Italian maiolica bowls excavated at Jamestown Late 17th-century Italian maiolica bowls excavated at Jamestown
The Dolphin who Came Late The Dolphin who Came Late

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In the late 1800's, washing machines and butter churners were sometimes powered by dogs walking on treadmills.
    • Late After the usual or proper time, or the time appointed; after delay; as, he arrived late ; -- opposed to early.
    • Late Coming after the time when due, or after the usual or proper time; not early; slow; tardy; long delayed; as, a late spring.
    • Late Continuing or doing until an advanced hour of the night; as, late revels; a late watcher.
    • Late 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.
    • Late Far advanced toward the end or close; as, a late hour of the day; a late period of life.
    • Late Far in the night, day, week, or other particular period; as, to lie abed late; to sit up late at night.
    • Late Not long ago; lately.
    • Late Not long past; happening not long ago; recent; as, the late rains; we have received late intelligence.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: As late as 1820, the universe was thought to be 6,000 years old. It is now thought to be between 15 and 20 billion years old.
    • late 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.
    • late 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.
    • late Recent; of recent origin or existence; not of old date: as, the latest fashion; late news.
    • late Comparatively recent (with reference to something older); of a comparatively recent date or period: as, late (medieval) glass; late (Greek) sculpture or epigraphy.
    • late Recently existing, but not now; not long past: as, the late rains.
    • late Recently acting; in a series, immediately preceding that which now exists: as, the late administration.
    • late Deceased.
    • late Synonyms Recent, Fresh, etc. See new.
    • late After the usual time or the time appointed; after delay: as, fruits that ripen late.
    • late Not long since; recently; of late.
    • late Beyond the usual or proper time: as, to lie abed late.
    • late See lait.
    • late A Middle English form of let.
    • n late Manner; behavior.
    • n late A sound; voice.
    • late Slow or backward in bearing crops, because heavy, clayey, cold, sour, or unfavorably situated as regards the sun, or the like: as, late land.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In the late 19th century the Supreme Court of the United States legally declarded the tomato a vegetable.
    • adj Late lāt comp. Lat′er; superl. Lat′est) slow, tardy; behindhand: coming after the expected time: long delayed: far advanced towards the close: last in any place or character: deceased: departed: out of office: not long past—also adv.Lat′ed (Shak.) belated, being too late
    • ***


  • George Eliot
    “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
  • Wayne Dyer
    “It's never too late to have a happy childhood.”
  • Mary Roberts Rhinehart
    Mary Roberts Rhinehart
    “Love is like the measles, all the worse when it comes late.”
  • Jean De La Bruyere
    “Everything has been said, and we have come too late, now that men have been living and thinking for seven thousand years and more.”
  • George Bernard Shaw
    “Better never than late.”
  • Oscar Wilde
    “He was always late on principle, his principle being that punctuality is the thief of time.”


A day late and a dollar short - (USA) If something is a day late and a dollar short, it is too little, too late.
Better late than never - This idiom suggests that doing something late is better than not doing it at all.
Johnny-come-lately - A Johnny-come-lately is someone who has recently joined something or arrived somewhere, especially when they want to make changes that are not welcome.
Late bloomer - When someone does not obtain success with their interests, talents, or personality until later in their lives, we say they are a late bloomer.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. lat, slow, slack, AS. læt,; akin to OS. lat, D. laat, late, G. lass, weary, lazy, slack, Icel. latr, Sw. lat, Dan. lad, Goth. lats, and to E. let, (v.) See Let to permit, and cf. Alas Lassitude
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. læt, slow; Dut. laat, Ice. latr, Ger. lass, weary; L. lassus, tired.


In literature:

There's an old adage `Better late than never.
"The Death Shot" by Mayne Reid
Another moment, and he would have been too late.
"The White Chief" by Mayne Reid
This strange tactic of my late companion puzzled me at the time, but I afterwards learned that it was sound strategy on his part.
"The Scalp Hunters" by Mayne Reid
We talked late last night.
"The History of Sir Richard Calmady" by Lucas Malet
It was dedicated to the late Rev.
"The Physical Life of Woman:" by Dr. George H Napheys
One day lately, when the water was low, he offered to cross the weir at Dingleford.
"Deerbrook" by Harriet Martineau
He does not write to Eugene, it is so late, and he has a curious disinclination.
"Floyd Grandon's Honor" by Amanda Minnie Douglas
It's too late for us older men to do much.
"Still Jim" by Honoré Willsie Morrow
But it was too late; the eye was lost.
"The Goose Man" by Jacob Wassermann
He did not arrive in Manchester until late that night, and then found that the last train for Brunford had left some time before he came.
"The Day of Judgment" by Joseph Hocking

In poetry:

And said there is no use trying,
Oh! Chloe, you're too late;
But as I was rising sixty,
I had no time to wait.
"Learning To Read" by Frances Ellen Watkins
But these,returning
Late and alone, will hear the song he sings
Among the ashes as
His self-begotten beauty dying burns.
"The Phoenix" by Babette Deutsch
"O, friend of mine, who late," I said,
"Has left the streets of men,
Let all this quiet overhead
Bring back thine own again.
"A Walk To Pamphy Linns" by Alexander Anderson
And there they say if a man should wait
A twelvemonth and a day
That all his shipmates soon or late
Would surely pass that way.
"The Rendezvous" by Cicely Fox Smith
Because of thee, no thought, no thing,
Abides for me undesecrate:
Dark Angel, ever on the wing,
Who never reachest me too late!
"The Dark Angel" by Lionel Pigot Johnson
And every day all the long Summer,
At noontime and evening late,
The little one's watching for papa--
Waiting to open the gate.
"Opening The Gate For Papa" by Madge Morris Wagner

In news:

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The 2012 season finale for the Missouri State football Bears started slowly before a late rally made the score respectable late.
She was one of ten children born from the union of the late Alva Folk and the late Anna (Mominee) Folk .
I'm a little late getting these up but better late than never.
She was born on Tuesday, Aug 25, 1925, in Chilton County, daughter of the late James Fonzie Mullins and the late Ida Mae Caton Mullins.
The son of the late Charles A Gillespie Sr. And the late Ada Mae (Watson) Gillespie .
"The Late Late Show" Goes on as Lights Go Out .
"The Late Late Show" Goes on as Lights Go Out.
A Winter Storm Watch remains in effect from late tonight through late Thursday night.
On the Late Late Show With Tom Snyder, May 23.
High drama as Trampas Demers takes home the Late Model title in a thrilling late-race charge on Casella night at T-Road.
From the Magic Bus Bakery Cookbook by the late Melinda Nash, who operated her bakery from a converted bus at the entrance to Denali Park in the late 1980s.
As if we haven't been hearing from Kylie enough lately, she's taking over the US prime time and late night circuit this week to promote her latest album, The Abbey Road Sessions.
Aaron Steed appeared on late night's Chelsea Lately on the E Channel Tuesday evening.
Chef Mario Alberto, lately of Lazy Ox and Chimu, brings an inventiveness to this late-night haven that sometimes hits, sometimes doesn't.
Born Nov 15, 1950, he was the son of the late John William Lemon and the late Katherine I (McDonald) Lemon .

In science:

Late time Hamiltonian constraint for runs with different resolutions.
Simple excision of a black hole in 3+1 numerical relativity
Further global VLBI observations are scheduled to take place in late 2000, two years after the initial observations.
Global VLBI Observations of Compact Radio Sources in M82
An additional 25% have barred morphologies that are consistent with late-stage minor merger morphologies.
Imaging of a Complete Sample of IR-Excess PG QSOs
Also during the late stages of iteration, the visited microstates do not contribute to the estimate of the entropic function since the convergence factor f is very small; this means that a lot of information is generated but not used.
An Introduction to Monte Carlo Simulation of Statistical physics Problem
Interest in random-graph models has intensified lately and led to solution schemes beyond replica-symmetry [8–11].
Metastable configurations of spin models on random graphs