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last1

[last, lahst] /læst, lɑst/
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
900
before 900; Middle English last, latst, syncopated variant of latest, Old English latest, lætest, superlative of læt, late
Synonyms
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.

last2

[last, lahst] /læst, lɑst/
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
Synonyms
1. See continue.

last3

[last, lahst] /læst, lɑst/
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
Related forms
laster, noun

last4

[last, lahst] /læst, lɑst/
noun
1.
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] /leɪt/
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
Related forms
lateness, noun
overlate, adjective
overlateness, noun
Can be confused
former, later, latter.
Synonyms
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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Examples for last
  • 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.
  • The current heat wave comes after record or near-record temperatures last month in many parts of the country.
  • He utterly forgot about the last remaining harvester ant.
  • Your last post is directed at the concept of our technology being stolen.
  • The last few days have produced news of some important job shifts at university presses.
  • But the industry ended up with a glut of beef and over the last few weeks more companies have offered their meat for sale.
  • The presence of the dark blob was first detected last year.
British Dictionary definitions for last

last1

/lɑːst/
adjective (often prenominal)
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)
  1. final or ultimate last rites
  2. (capital) the Last Judgment
9.
(postpositive) (Liverpool, dialect) inferior, unpleasant, or contemptible this ale is last
adverb
10.
after all others; at or in the end he came last
11.
  1. most recently he was last seen in the mountains
  2. (in combination) last-mentioned
12.
(sentence modifier) as the last or latest item
noun
13.
the last
  1. a person or thing that is last
  2. 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 note
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
Word Origin
variant of Old English latest, lætest, superlative of late

last2

/lɑːst/
verb
1.
when intr, often foll by for. 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.
when intr, often foll by for. to remain fresh, uninjured, or unaltered (for a certain time or duration) he lasted for three hours underground
See also last out
Derived Forms
laster, noun
Word Origin
Old English lǣstan; related to Gothic laistjan to follow

last3

/lɑːst/
noun
1.
the wooden or metal form on which a shoe or boot is fashioned or repaired
verb
2.
(transitive) to fit (a shoe or boot) on a last
Derived Forms
laster, noun
Word Origin
Old English lǣste, from lāst footprint; related to Old Norse leistr foot, Gothic laists

last4

/lɑːst/
noun
1.
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
Word Origin
Old English hlæst load; related to hladan to lade1

late

/leɪt/
adjective
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
adverb
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
  1. at a late or advanced stage
  2. too late
Derived Forms
lateness, noun
Usage note
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
Word Origin
Old English læt; related to Old Norse latr, Gothic lats
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for last
adj., adv.

"following all others," from Old English latost (adj.) and lætest (adv.), superlative of læt (see late). Cognate with Old Frisian lest, Dutch laatst, Old High German laggost, German letzt. Meaning "most recent" is from c.1200. The noun, "last person or thing," is c.1200, from the adjective. Last hurrah is from the title of Edwin O'Connor's 1956 novel. Last word "final, definitive statement" is from 1650s. A dying person's last words so called by 1740. As an adjective, last-minute attested from 1913. Last-chance (adj.) is from 1962.

v.

"endure, go on existing," from Old English læstan "to continue, endure," earlier "accomplish, carry out," literally "to follow a track," from Proto-Germanic *laistjan "to follow a track" (cf. Gothic laistjan "to follow," Old Frisian lasta "to fulfill, to pay (duties)," German leisten "to perform, achieve, afford"), from PIE *leis- "track, furrow."

Related to last (n.), not to last (adj.). Related: Lasted; lasting.

n.

"shoemaker's block," from Old English læste, from last "track, footprint, trace," from Proto-Germanic *laist- (cf. Old Norse leistr "the foot," Middle Dutch, Dutch leest "form, model, last," Old High German leist "track, footprint," German Leisten "last," Gothic laistjan "to follow," Old English læran "to teach"); see last (v.).

late

adj.

Old English læt "occurring after the customary or expected time," originally "slow, sluggish," from Proto-Germanic *lata- (cf. Old Norse latr "sluggish, lazy," Middle Dutch, Old Saxon lat, German laß "idle, weary," Gothic lats "weary, sluggish, lazy," latjan "to hinder"), from PIE *led- "slow, weary" (cf. Latin lassus "faint, weary, languid, exhausted," Greek ledein "to be weary"), from root *le- "to let go, slacken" (see let (v.)).

The sense of "deceased" (as in the late Mrs. Smith) is from late 15c., from an adverbial sense of "recently." Of women's menstrual periods, attested colloquially from 1962. Related: Lateness. As an adverb, from Old English late.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with last
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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