Skip to main content


late / lāt/ • adj. 1. doing something or taking place after the expected, proper, or usual time: his late arrival she was half an hour late for her lunch appointment. 2. belonging or taking place near the end of a particular time or period: they won the game with a late goal. ∎  [attrib.] denoting the advanced stage of a period: the late 1960s arriving in the late afternoon. ∎  far on into the day or night: I'm sorry the call is so late it's too late for lunch. ∎  originating at a point well into an artistic period or artist's life: his highly abstracted late landscapes late Gothic style. ∎  flowering or ripening toward the end of the season: the last late chrysanthemums. 3. (the/one's late) (of a specified person) no longer alive: the late William Jennings Bryan her late husband's grave. ∎  no longer having the specified status; former: a late colleague of mine. 4. (latest) of recent date: the latest news. • adv. 1. after the expected, proper, or usual time: she arrived late. 2. toward the end of a period: it happened late in 1984. ∎  at or until a time far into the day or night: now I'm old enough to stay up late. ∎  (later) at a time in the near future; afterward: I'll see you later later on it will be easier. 3. (late of) formerly but not now living or working in a specified place or institution: Captain Falconer, late of the British army. • n. (the latest) the most recent news or fashion: have you heard the latest? PHRASES: at the latest no later than the time specified: all new cars will be required to meet this standard by 1997 at the latest. late in the game (or day) at a late stage in proceedings, esp. too late to be useful. of late recently: she'd been drinking too much of late.DERIVATIVES: late·ness n.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"late." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . 19 Jun. 2019 <>.

"late." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . (June 19, 2019).

"late." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved June 19, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.