too little, too late

Idioms & Phrases

too little, too late

Inadequate as a remedy and not in time to be effective, as in The effort to divert the stream into a corn field was too little too latethe houses were already flooded. This term originated in the military, where it was applied to reinforcements that were insufficient and arrived too late to be of help. [First half of 1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: too large
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for too little, too late
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing too little, too late
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature