Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

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)
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

bright spark

a person who is intelligent, and full of energy and enthusiasm

Word of the Day

Highly delighted, bitterly disappointed, ridiculously cheap: adverbs for emphasis.

by Liz Walter,
October 22, 2014
We often make adjectives stronger by putting an adverb in front of them. The most common ones are very and, for a stronger meaning, extremely: He was very pleased. The ship is extremely large. However, we don’t use very or extremely for adjectives that already have a strong meaning, for example fantastic,

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More