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[tahr-dee] /ˈtɑr di/
adjective, tardier, tardiest.
late; behind time; not on time:
How tardy were you today?
moving or acting slowly; slow; sluggish.
delaying through reluctance.
Origin of tardy
1475-85; earlier tardive, tardif < Old French < Vulgar Latin *tardīvus, equivalent to Latin tard(us) slow + -īvus -ive
Related forms
tardily, adverb
tardiness, noun
1. slack. 3. dilatory.
1. prompt. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tardiness
  • The divine wrath is slow indeed in vengeance, but it makes up for its tardiness by the severity of the punishment.
  • Still, his fans continued to adore and support him-even when his drug use caused tardiness or a failure to appear at concerts.
  • But these are complex tasks of which tardiness does not disqualify this government.
  • Don't let your tardiness be responsible for whittling it down further.
  • The bus he had to take ran erratically, and he was fired for repeated tardiness.
  • Watch for increased absenteeism and tardiness and other symptoms, then coach to change it.
  • Examples of misconduct include tardiness and absenteeism, insubordination, and falsification.
  • The employer had no formal or written policies regarding absences or tardiness.
  • Repeated tardiness is subject to disciplinary action.
  • Your tardiness detracts from the work and places an undue burden on your supervisor and co-workers.
British Dictionary definitions for tardiness


adjective -dier, -diest
occurring later than expected: tardy retribution
slow in progress, growth, etc: a tardy reader
Derived Forms
tardily, adverb
tardiness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French tardif, from Latin tardus slow
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 tardiness



late 14c. (implied in tardity), from Old French tardif (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *tardivus, from Latin tardus "slow, sluggish, dull, stupid," of unknown origin. Related: Tardily; tardiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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