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latter

[lat-er] /ˈlæt ər/
adjective
1.
being the second mentioned of two (distinguished from former):
I prefer the latter offer to the former one.
2.
more advanced in time; later:
in these latter days of human progress.
3.
near or comparatively near to the end:
the latter part of the century.
4.
Obsolete, last; final.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English latt(e)re, Old English lætra, comparative of læt late
Can be confused
former, later, latter.
ladder, latter.

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 latter
  • But the name to latter ones is not a legion, that's for sure.
  • But the extent to which the latter really offsets the former is unclear.
  • The latter in particular has been accused of stealing newspapers' content and undermining their attempts to charge for it.
  • They shield bad ideas as well as good ones-and there are many more of the former than the latter.
  • The latter was seen as a consequence of genetic isolation.
  • The latter include one piled with sautéed mushrooms and goat cheese and one filled with succulent pulled pork.
  • Such is the nature of fear and the nature of science, and the inability of the latter to dispel the former.
  • The latter approach is more robust, particularly when navigating unpredictable, complex environments.
  • The latter two require high levels of electricity to convert from raw material components to a useful energy.
  • The latter problem would create a new job at each solar parking lot, for an attendant to block entry for non-elec cars.
British Dictionary definitions for latter

latter

/ˈlætə/
adjective (prenominal)
1.
  1. denoting the second or second mentioned of two: distinguished from former
  2. (as noun; functioning as sing or plural) the latter is not important
2.
near or nearer the end the latter part of a film
3.
more advanced in time or sequence; later
Usage note
The latter should only be used to refer to the second of two items: many people choose to go by hovercraft rather than use the ferry, but I prefer the latter. The last of three or more items can be referred to as the last-named

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 latter
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.
latter
O.E. lætra "slower," comp. of læt "late" (see late (adj.)). Sense of "second of two" first recorded 1550s. The modern later is a formation from mid-15c. Related: Latterly.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with latter
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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