Definition of late adverb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//leɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//leɪt//
    (later, no superlative)
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  1. 1  after the expected, arranged or usual time I got up late. Can I stay up late tonight? She has to work late tomorrow. The big stores are open later on Thursdays. She married late. The birthday card arrived three days late. Grammar Pointlate / lately Late and lately are both adverbs, but late is used with similar meanings to the adjective late, whereas lately can only mean ‘recently’:We arrived two hours late. I haven’t heard from him lately. Lately is usually used with a perfect tense of the verb. Look also at the idioms be too late (at the adjective) and too late (at the adverb).
  2. 2  near the end of a period of time, a person’s life, etc. late in March/the afternoon It happened late last year. As late as (= as recently as) the 1950s, tuberculosis was still a fatal illness. He became an author late in life.
  3. 3  near the end of the day There's a good film on late. Late that evening, there was a knock at the door. Share prices fell early on but rose again late in the day. They worked late into the night to finish the report. opposite early see also later
  4. Word OriginOld English læt (adjective; also in the sense ‘slow, tardy’), late (adverb), of Germanic origin; related to German lass, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin lassus ‘weary’ and let.Idioms (saying) used especially when you, or somebody else, arrive/arrives late, or when something such as success happens late, to say that this is better than not coming or happening at all (disapproving) after the time when an action could be successful He started working hard much too late in the day—he couldn't possibly catch up. (formal) until recently working or living in the place mentioned Professor Jones, late of Oxford University an evening that you spend enjoying yourself away from home They enjoy a night out occasionally. (formal) recently I haven't seen him of late. The situation has become more confusing of late.  at some time in the future, even if you are not sure exactly when Sooner or later you will have to make a decision.  after the time when it is possible to do something successfully She's left it too late to apply for the job. I realized the truth too late.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: late