last

1 [last, lahst]
adjective a superl. of late with later as compar.
1.
occurring or coming after all others, as in time, order, or place: the last line on a page.
2.
most recent; next before the present; latest: last week; last Friday.
3.
being the only one remaining: my last dollar; the last outpost; a last chance.
4.
final: in his last hours.
5.
ultimate or conclusive; definitive: the last word in the argument.
6.
lowest in prestige or importance: last prize.
7.
coming after all others in suitability or likelihood; least desirable: He is the last person we'd want to represent us.
8.
individual; single: The lecture won't start until every last person is seated.
9.
utmost; extreme: the last degree of delight.
10.
Ecclesiastical. (of the sacraments of penance, viaticum, or extreme unction) extreme or final; administered to a person dying or in danger of dying.
adverb
11.
after all others; latest: He arrived last at the party.
12.
on the most recent occasion: When last seen, the suspect was wearing a checked suit.
13.
in the end; finally; in conclusion.
noun
14.
a person or thing that is last.
15.
a final appearance or mention: We've seen the last of her. That's the last we'll hear of it.
16.
the end or conclusion: We are going on vacation the last of September.
Idioms
17.
at last, after a lengthy pause or delay: He was lost in thought for several minutes, but at last he spoke.
18.
at long last, after much troublesome or frustrating delay: The ship docked at long last.
19.
breathe one's last, to die: He was nearly 90 when he breathed his last.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English last, latst, syncopated variant of latest, Old English latest, lætest, superlative of læt, late


1. Last, final, ultimate refer to what comes as an ending. That which is last comes or stands after all others in a stated series or succession; last may refer to objects or activities: a seat in the last row; the last game. That which is final comes at the end, or serves to end or terminate, admitting of nothing further; final is rarely used of objects: to make a final attempt. That which is ultimate (literally, most remote) is the last that can be reached, as in progression or regression, experience, or a course of investigation: ultimate truths.
Dictionary.com Unabridged

last

2 [last, lahst]
verb (used without object)
1.
to go on or continue in time: The festival lasted three weeks.
2.
to continue unexpended or unexhausted; be enough: We'll enjoy ourselves while our money lasts.
3.
to continue in force, vigor, effectiveness, etc.: to last for the whole course.
4.
to continue or remain in usable condition for a reasonable period of time: They were handsome shoes but they didn't last.
verb (used with object)
5.
to continue to survive for the duration of (often followed by out ): They lasted the war in Switzerland.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English lasten, Old English lǣstan to follow (literally, go in the tracks of), perform, continue, last; cognate with German laisten to follow, Gothic laistjan. See last3


1. See continue.

last

3 [last, lahst]
noun
1.
a wooden or metal form in the shape of the human foot on which boots or shoes are shaped or repaired.
2.
the shape or form of a shoe.
verb (used with object)
3.
to shape on or fit to a last.
Idioms
4.
stick to one's last, to keep to that work, field, etc., in which one is competent or skilled.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English lest(e), last(e), Old English lǣste; cognate with German Leisten; akin to Old English lāst, Gothic laists track

laster, noun

last

4 [last, lahst]
noun
any of various large units of weight or capacity, varying in amount in different localities and for different commodities, often equivalent to 4000 pounds (1814.37 kilograms).

Origin:
before 900; Middle English; Old English hlæst; cognate with Dutch last, German Last load; akin to lade

late

[leyt]
adjective, later or latter, latest or last.
1.
occurring, coming, or being after the usual or proper time: late frosts; a late spring.
2.
continued until after the usual time or hour; protracted: a late business meeting.
3.
near or at the end of day or well into the night: a late hour.
4.
belonging to the time just before the present moment; most recent: a late news bulletin.
5.
immediately preceding the present one; former: the late attorney general.
6.
recently deceased: the late Mr. Phipps.
7.
occurring at an advanced stage in life: a late marriage.
8.
belonging to an advanced period or stage in the history or development of something: the late phase of feudalism.
adverb, later, latest.
9.
after the usual or proper time, or after delay: to arrive late.
10.
until after the usual time or hour; until an advanced hour, especially of the night: to work late.
11.
at or to an advanced time, period, or stage: The flowers keep their blossoms late in warm climates.
12.
recently but no longer: a man late of Chicago, now living in Philadelphia.
Idioms
13.
of late, lately; recently: The days have been getting warmer of late.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English; Old English læt slow, late; cognate with German lass slothful, Old Norse latr, Gothic lats slow, lazy, Latin lassus tired

lateness, noun
overlate, adjective
overlateness, noun

former, later, latter.


1. tardy; slow, dilatory; delayed, belated. 4. See modern.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
last1 (lɑːst)
 
adj
1.  being, happening, or coming at the end or after all others: the last horse in the race
2.  being or occurring just before the present; most recent: last Thursday
3.  last but not least coming last in order but nevertheless important
4.  last but one next to last
5.  only remaining: one's last cigarette
6.  most extreme; utmost
7.  least suitable, appropriate, or likely: he was the last person I would have chosen
8.  esp relating to the end of a person's life or of the world
 a.  final or ultimate: last rites
 b.  (capital): the Last Judgment
9.  dialect (Liverpool) (postpositive) inferior, unpleasant, or contemptible: this ale is last
 
adv
10.  after all others; at or in the end: he came last
11.  a.  most recently: he was last seen in the mountains
 b.  (in combination): last-mentioned
12.  (sentence modifier) as the last or latest item
 
n
13.  the last
 a.  a person or thing that is last
 b.  the final moment; end
14.  one's last moments before death
15.  the last thing a person can do (esp in the phrase breathe one's last)
16.  the final appearance, mention, or occurrence: we've seen the last of him
17.  at last in the end; finally
18.  at long last finally, after difficulty, delay, or irritation
 
usage  Since last can mean either after all others or most recent, it is better to avoid using this word where ambiguity might arise as in her last novel. Final or latest should be used in such contexts to avoid ambiguity

last2 (lɑːst)
 
vb (when intr, often foll by for) (when intr, often foll by for)
1.  to remain in being (for a length of time); continue: his hatred lasted for several years
2.  to be sufficient for the needs of (a person) for (a length of time): it will last us until Friday
3.  to remain fresh, uninjured, or unaltered (for a certain time or duration): he lasted for three hours underground
 
[Old English lǣstan; related to Gothic laistjan to follow]
 
'laster2
 
n

last3 (lɑːst)
 
n
1.  the wooden or metal form on which a shoe or boot is fashioned or repaired
 
vb
2.  (tr) to fit (a shoe or boot) on a last
 
[Old English lǣste, from lāst footprint; related to Old Norse leistr foot, Gothic laists]
 
'laster3
 
n

last4 (lɑːst)
 
n
a unit of weight or capacity having various values in different places and for different commodities. Commonly used values are 2 tons, 2000 pounds, 80 bushels, or 640 gallons
 
[Old English hlæst load; related to hladan to lade1]

late (leɪt)
 
adj
1.  occurring or arriving after the correct or expected time: the train was late
2.  (prenominal) occurring, scheduled for, or being at a relatively advanced time: a late marriage
3.  (prenominal) towards or near the end: the late evening
4.  at an advanced time in the evening or at night: it was late
5.  (prenominal) occurring or being just previous to the present time: his late remarks on industry
6.  (prenominal) having died, esp recently: my late grandfather
7.  (prenominal) just preceding the present or existing person or thing; former: the late manager of this firm
8.  of late recently; lately
 
adv
9.  after the correct or expected time: he arrived late
10.  at a relatively advanced age: she married late
11.  recently; lately: as late as yesterday he was selling books
12.  late hours rising and going to bed later than is usual
13.  late in the day
 a.  at a late or advanced stage
 b.  too late
 
[Old English læt; related to Old Norse latr, Gothic lats]
 
usage  Since late can mean deceased, many people think it is better to avoid using this word to refer to the person who held a post or position before its present holder: the previous (not the late) editor of The Times
 
'lateness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

last
"following all the others," from O.E. latost (adj.) and lætest (adv.), superl. of læt (adj.) and late (adv.). Cognate with O.Fris. lest, Du. laatst, O.H.G. laggost, Ger. letzt). Adj. Last-ditch "on the last line of defense" is from 1715, attributed to William of Orange. Last hurrah is from
the title of Edwin O'Connor's 1956 novel. Last word "final, definitive statement" is from 1881. Related: Lasting; lastly.

last
"endure," from O.E. læstan "to continue, endure," earlier "accomplish, carry out," lit. "to follow a track," from P.Gmc. *laistijanan (cf. Goth. laistjan "to follow," O.Fris. lasta "to fulfill, to pay (duties)," Ger. leisten "to perform, achieve, afford"). Related to
last (n.), not to last (adj.).

last
"shoemaker's block," from O.E. læste, from last "track, footprint, trace," from P.Gmc. *laistaz (cf. O.N. leistr "the foot," O.H.G. leist "track, footprint," Goth. laistjan "to follow," O.E. læran "to teach").

late
O.E. læt "occurring after the customary or expected time," originally "slow, sluggish," from P.Gmc. *latas (cf. O.N. latr "sluggish, lazy," M.Du., O.S. lat, Ger. laß "idle, weary," Goth. lats "weary, sluggish, lazy," latjan "to hinder"), from PIE base *lad- "slow, weary" (cf. L. lassus "faint,
weary, languid, exhausted," Gk. ledein "to be weary"). The sense of "deceased" (as in the late Mrs. Smith) is from late 15c., from an adv. sense of "recently." Of women's menstrual periods, attested colloquially from 1962. Related: Lately; lateness.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

last

In addition to the idioms beginning with last, also see at last; at the last minute; breathe one's last; each and every (last one); famous last words; first and last; head for (the last roundup); in the final (last) analysis; on one's last legs; see the last of; stick to one's last; to the last.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The sidewalk, the last redoubt of pedestrian safety, has been breached.
The state climatologist reckons that it could last for the rest of the decade.
Your last paragraph though really made me rethink things.
Scientists don't know why some moments seem to last longer than others.
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