From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishlatelate1 /leɪt/ ●●● S1 W1 adjective (comparative later, superlative latest) 1 after expected timeLATE arriving, happening, or done after the time that was expected, agreed, or arranged OPP early Sorry I’m late – I overslept.ten minutes/two hours etc late You’re half an hour late. The train was even later than usual. We apologize for the late departure of flight AZ709. There are penalties if loan repayments are late.late for Cheryl was late for school.late with We’ve never been late with the rent.2 near the end [only before noun]END used to refer to the part near the end of a period of time OPP early Paul’s in his late forties. a late eighteenth-century building in the late 1980s By late afternoon, she had done 10 drawings.3 → be too late4 after usual timeLATE happening or done after the usual or normal time a late breakfast The harvest was late this year because of the rain. She looked tired – too many late nights (=nights when she went to bed after the normal time).5 evening near the end of a day the late movie It’s late – I’d better go home.6 deadDEAD [only before noun] deadlate husband/wife Mrs. Moore’s late husband 7 → late developer/bloomer8 → it’s (a little/bit) late in the day (to do something)9 → late of something —lateness noun [uncountable] penalties for lateness at work despite the lateness of the hourGRAMMAR: Patterns with late• You are late for work, school, a meeting etc: I was late for my appointment.• You are late for your train, bus, plane etc: Hurry up or you’ll be late for your train!• You are late with something that you have to produce, for example your work or the rent: He was always late with his homework.• You are late doing something: They were late paying the rent.• You can also say that someone is late in doing something: They were late in paying the rent.THESAURUSlate arriving or happening after the time that was expected or arrangedSorry I’m late.The bus was late.Spring seems to be very late this year.not on time not arriving or doing something at the time that was expected or arrangedHe never hands his homework in on time.If we don’t leave on time, we’ll miss the flight.overdue not done or happening by the expected time – used especially about payments that are late or library books that should have been returnedYour rent is three weeks overdue.I had to pay a £3 fine on some overdue library books.be behind with something British English, be behind on something American English to be late in doing something that you have to doI can’t come out because I’m behind with my English essay.be held up to be made late for a meeting, appointment etc by something that happens, especially by bad trafficI was held up by a traffic jam.be delayed to be prevented from arriving, leaving, or happening at the expected time – often used about public transportThe flight was delayed by bad weather.belated /bɪˈleɪtəd/ given or done late – used especially about something that someone has forgotten or failed to doa belated birthday cardI’m still hoping for a belated apology from him.tardy especially American English formal arriving or happening latea habitually tardy persona tardy decisionbe in arrears /əˈrɪəz $ əˈrɪrz/ formal to have not made one or more regular payments at the time when you shouldOne in eight mortgage payers are in arrears.
Examples from the Corpuslate• Rover began life in the late 1800s, producing first bicycles and then motorbikes.• This phase of religious intensification began in the late 1950s and early 1960s when church membership began to grow across all denominations.• a house built in the late 19th century• Oh, no, my library books are late.• The bus is late again.• Severiano Ballesteros was disqualified for late arrival on the 1st tee.• He is a big fan of reggae music and the late Bob Marley.• Mrs. Moody's late husband• She set up the fund in memory of her late husband.• I watched the late show on TV.late for• Peggy was late for school.late nights• I spent hours there, evenings, days, late nights.• Stephen no longer permitted her late nights.• The introduction of Intercity's Nightrider service seems to have caused some difficulty in the publicity department. late nights?• I stayed late nights and came in on weekends.• Lapsang Souchong was opium, bohemia, late nights and Gauloises.• I spent six weeks on it, working late nights and weekends.• Too many late nights listening to Gilbert and Sullivan, I shouldn't wonder.• All these late nights with Omar were as exhilarating as they were tiring.It’s late• She doesn't. It's late.late husband/wife• Betty Maxwell on the pensioners robbed by her late husband.• It never occurred to me that Karen might be grieving for her late husband.• Mrs Hancock kept the white mansion and some other property interests of her late husband.• Widowed four years ago, she lives off two pensions left by her late husband.• The collection came from the estate of Diana and her late husband Alan Lake.• Court was forced to sell Stoll Moss by banks to which her late husband's company owed millions.• Ruby claims her illness was caused by washing her late husband's overalls.• Marion Witherspoon had married her late husband when she was twenty or twenty-one.latelate2 ●●● S2 W3 adverb (comparative later, superlative no superlative) 1 LATEafter the usual time The stores are open later on Thursdays. Ellen has to work late tonight. Can you stay late?2 LATEafter the arranged or expected time OPP earlyten minutes/two hours etc late The bus came ten minutes late.3 → too late4 ENDnear to the end of a period of time or an eventlate in The wedding took place late in May. It was not a place to walk in late at night.5 → as late as something6 → of late7 → late in life8 → better late than never → run late at run1(39)
Examples from the Corpuslate• The bus came ten minutes late.• They were going to be out late and their help was away.• I stayed late at work last night.• Trains out of Waverley were running fifteen minutes late by the time she got there, but she didn't care.• All the stores in the mall are open late for the sale.• Deteriorating snow conditions late in the day cause most problems on alpine descents.• She was surprised to find how late she'd slept in.• Days began early and ended late so that maximum distances could be travelled.• Come late to-morrow I must explain to you.work late• He appreciates her, recognizing her good work, thanking her when she works late.• The General Surgical Theatre was working late.• Who generally comes to work late?• This can matter if you expect to be working late and the bus stage is some distance away from your place of work.• Another idea: Reward employees, not for working late but for working so efficiently that they can leave early.• You work late, don't you.• I spent six weeks on it, working late nights and weekends.• Lesser fines for getting to work late, or leaving early, or failing to report a problem with a machine.late in• late in the afternoonOrigin late1 Old English læt