better late than never

Idioms & Phrases

better late than never

Being tardy is better than not at all, as in We've been waiting for you for an hourbut better late than never. This phrase, first recorded about 1200, appears in several early English proverb collections, often with the added but better never late. Today it is often used in exasperation over a delay, as in the example.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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