American English

Definition of late adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (later, latest)
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  1. 1[only before noun] near the end of a period of time, a person's life, etc. in the late afternoon in late summer She married in her late twenties (= when she was 28 or 29). In later life he started playing golf. The school was built in the late 1970s. a late Victorian house his late plays a late basket The concert was canceled at a very late date. opposite early
  2. 2[not usually before noun] arriving, happening, or done after the expected, arranged, or usual time I'm sorry I'm late. She's late for work every day. My flight was an hour late. We apologize for the late arrival of this train. Because of the cold weather the crops are later this year. Interest will be charged for late payment. Here is a late news flash. Some children are very late developers. opposite early
  3. 3near the end of the day Let's go home—it's getting late. Look at the time—it's much later than I thought. What are you doing up at this late hour? What is the latest appointment you can give me? I've had too many late nights recently (= when I've gone to bed very late). opposite early
  4. 4[only before noun] (of a person) no longer alive her late husband the late Paul Newman
    noun [uncountable] They apologized for the lateness of their arrival. Despite the lateness of the hour, the children were not in bed. see also later, latest
  6. Idioms
    be too late
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    happening after the time when it is possible to do something It's too late to save her now. Buy now before it's too late. I'm afraid you're too late to apply for the job. The doctors did all they could, but it was too late.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: late