Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “late”

See all translations

late

adjective, adverb [-er/-est only]  /leɪt/ us  

late adjective, adverb [-er/-est only] (NEAR THE END)

(happening or being) near the end of a period or in the recent past: I expect him home late this afternoon. I’d better get going – I had no idea it was so late! [+ to infinitive] It’s too late to call now. I think Jody’s in her late twenties. He is a celebrated painter of the late 19th century.

late adjective, adverb [-er/-est only] (AFTER)

(happening or arriving) after the planned, expected, usual, or necessary time: Sorry I’m late – I was caught in traffic. You’ll be later than you already are if you don’t hurry up. This is the latest she’s ever worked. Summer came late this year (= The weather became warm after the usual time). It’s too late to do anything about it now.
lateness
noun [U]  /ˈleɪt·nəs/ us  
My boss doesn’t tolerate lateness.

late

adjective [not gradable]  /leɪt/ us  

late adjective [not gradable] (DEAD)

no longer alive, esp. having recently died: She gave her late husband’s clothes to charity.
(Definition of late from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of late?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “late” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

past participle

the form of a verb, usually made by adding -ed, used in some grammatical structures such as the passive and the present perfect

Word of the Day

Euphemisms (Words used to Avoid Offending People)

by Kate Woodford,
March 04, 2015
​​​ We recently looked at the language that we use to describe lies and lying. One area of lying that we considered was ‘being slightly dishonest, or not speaking the complete truth’. One reason for not speaking the complete truth is to avoid saying something that might upset or offend people. Words and

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More