9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[leyt] /leɪt/
adjective, later or latter, latest or last.
occurring, coming, or being after the usual or proper time:
late frosts; a late spring.
continued until after the usual time or hour; protracted:
a late business meeting.
near or at the end of day or well into the night:
a late hour.
belonging to the time just before the present moment; most recent:
a late news bulletin.
immediately preceding the present one; former:
the late attorney general.
recently deceased:
the late Mr. Phipps.
occurring at an advanced stage in life:
a late marriage.
belonging to an advanced period or stage in the history or development of something:
the late phase of feudalism.
adverb, later, latest.
after the usual or proper time, or after delay:
to arrive late.
until after the usual time or hour; until an advanced hour, especially of the night:
to work late.
at or to an advanced time, period, or stage:
The flowers keep their blossoms late in warm climates.
recently but no longer:
a man late of Chicago, now living in Philadelphia.
of late, lately; recently:
The days have been getting warmer of late.
Origin of late
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.
1. tardy; slow, dilatory; delayed, belated. 4. See modern. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for later
  • later he went in for tapioca and a thermoplastic that is equally gelatinous before it cools.
  • The well-substantiated finding that adolescents go to bed later and later as they age is not the fault of advertising.
  • Remind students to think about things that might be on their mental maps later in the school year.
  • Twenty-five years later they are still in the memories of the living.
  • Seeds germinate in early spring in southern climates, later in northern areas.
  • Here comes the sun and it's later than you expected.
  • They said they later recovered explosives on the island.
  • Additional materials may be requested at a later date.
  • Sons also are not as likely as daughters to stick around to help their mothers out later in life.
  • Previous astronauts had taken objects into space that later found their way onto the market.
British Dictionary definitions for later


adjective, adverb
the comparative of late
afterwards; subsequently
see you later, an expression of farewell
sooner or later, eventually; inevitably


occurring or arriving after the correct or expected time: the train was late
(prenominal) occurring, scheduled for, or being at a relatively advanced time: a late marriage
(prenominal) towards or near the end: the late evening
at an advanced time in the evening or at night: it was late
(prenominal) occurring or being just previous to the present time: his late remarks on industry
(prenominal) having died, esp recently: my late grandfather
(prenominal) just preceding the present or existing person or thing; former: the late manager of this firm
of late, recently; lately
after the correct or expected time: he arrived late
at a relatively advanced age: she married late
recently; lately: as late as yesterday he was selling books
late hours, rising and going to bed later than is usual
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 later

comparative of late. Meaning "farewell" is from 1954, U.S. slang, short for see you later.



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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Slang definitions & phrases for later



A parting salutation: I dug right away what the kick was, so I said, ''Later,'' and he split/ Later, baby. Catch you later (1980s+ Teenagers fr black)

Related Terms

see you later* alligator

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with later


In addition to the idiom beginning with later also see: sooner or later also see under: late
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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