better late than never

Cultural Dictionary

Better late than never definition


It is better to do something after it was supposed to have been done than not to do it at all.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

better late than never

Being tardy is better than not at all, as in We've been waiting for you for an hourbut better late than never. This phrase, first recorded about 1200, appears in several early English proverb collections, often with the added but better never late. Today it is often used in exasperation over a delay, as in the example.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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