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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 tardy
  • Of course there will be exceptions when you have no choice but to be tardy.
  • Nonetheless, her government's response has been criticised as tardy and ineffective.
  • The scanner records when she's tardy or absent and even plays a song for her birthday.
  • These tardy firms continue to over-promise and under-deliver.
  • Instead, it is the authorities' limp and tardy response to a number of worrying trends that seems to have spooked the markets.
  • To some, the official reaction was both tardy and excessive.
  • So expect much tardy reflection among politicians about the police.
  • In retrospect the studio appears unforgivably tardy.
  • They've paid for their tardy arrival to the shale gas business.
  • The disease, being severe, the remedy must be both powerful and tardy.
British Dictionary definitions for tardy


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
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Word Origin and History for tardy

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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