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



    BrE BrE//leɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//leɪt//
    (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 goal The concert was cancelled at a very late stage. 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. 3  near 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 time I can have an appointment? I've had too many late nights recently (= when I've gone to bed very late). opposite early
  4. 4[only before noun] (formal) (of a person) no longer alive her late husband the late Paul Newman
  5. 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.Extra examples He was now three weeks late with his rent. I don’t know what the time is, but it feels quite late. I’m late for work. It was now late into the night. It’s getting too late to do anything today. Kevin was fashionably late as always. The train was 45 minutes late. You’ve left it a bit late to start your homework, haven’t you? She spoke of her late husband with passion. She’s late for work every day. The event was organized in memory of the late Christopher Reeve.Idioms  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 American Dictionary entry: late