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English definition of “late”

late

adjective, adverb uk   /leɪt/ us  

late adjective, adverb (NEAR THE END)

A1 (happening or being) near the end of a period of time: It was late at night. We talked late into the night. Is that the time? I'd no idea it was so late. It was late summer when it happened. It was built in the late 19th century. He's probably in his late twenties. As late (= as recently) as the 1980s they were still using horses on this farm.

late adjective, adverb (AFTER EXPECTED TIME)

A1 (happening or arriving) after the planned, expected, usual, or necessary time: This train is always late. You'll be late for your flight if you don't hurry up. Sorry I'm late. I was held up in the traffic. It's too late to start complaining now. We always have a late breakfast on Sunday mornings. Some late news (= news of something that happened after the news programme started) has just come in - a bomb has exploded in central London. Our ferry was two hours late because of the strike. Kathryn's just phoned to say she's working late this evening.
See also

late adjective, adverb (SPORTS)

in football, if a tackle is late, it is made after the ball has been moved by another player and the player, not the ball, is kicked: He was booked for a late challenge in the first minute.
lateness
noun [U] uk   /ˈleɪt.nəs/ us  
formal the fact of being late: It was no great surprise that you were tired given the lateness of the hour.

late

(Definition of late from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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