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Late vs Laye - What's the difference?

late | laye |

As an adjective late

is near the end of a period of time.

As a noun late

is a shift (scheduled work period) that takes place late in the day or at night.

As an adverb late

is after a deadline has passed, past a designated time.

As a verb laye is

obsolete spelling of lang=en.




  • Near the end of a period of time.
  • Specifically, near the end of the day.
  • (usually, not used comparatively) Associated with the end of a period.
  • Not arriving until after an expected time.
  • Not having had an expected menstrual period.
  • (deceased)(not comparable, euphemistic) Deceased, dead:
  • * , chapter=12
  • , title= The Mirror and the Lamp , passage=To Edward […] he was terrible, nerve-inflaming, poisonously asphyxiating. He sat rocking himself in the late Mr. Churchill's swing chair, smoking and twaddling.}}
  • Existing or holding some position not long ago, but not now; departed, or gone out of office.
  • Recent — relative to the noun it modifies.
  • * 1914 , (Robert Frost), (North of Boston) , "A Hundred Collars":
  • Lancaster bore him — such a little town, / Such a great man. It doesn't see him often / Of late years, though he keeps the old homestead / And sends the children down there with their mother

    Usage notes

    * (deceased) (term) in this sense is unusual among English adjectives in that it qualifies named individuals (in phrases like (term)) without creating a contrast with another Mary who is not late. Contrast (hungry): a phrase like (term) is usually only used if another Mary is under discussion who is not hungry.


    (en noun)
  • (informal) A shift (scheduled work period) that takes place late in the day or at night.
  • * 2007 , Paul W Browning, The Good Guys Wear Blue
  • At about 11 pm one night in Corporation Street my watch were on van patrol and Yellow Watch were on lates as usual.


  • After a deadline has passed, past a designated time.
  • We drove as fast as we could, but we still arrived late .
  • formerly, especially in the context of service in a military unit.
  • :Colonel Easterwood, late of the 34th Carbines, was a guest at the dinner party.
  • Derived terms

    * a day late and a dollar short * as of late * better late than never * * late bloomer * latecomer * late in the day * late in the game * lately * late night * later * sooner or later


    * 2009 April 3, , "Re: Has 'late' split up into a pair of homonyms?", message-ID <bdb13686-a6e4-43cd-8445-efe353365394@l13g2000vba.googlegroups.com>, alt.usage.english'' and ''sci.lang , Usenet.




    * * * * * * * 1000 English basic words ----




  • * {{quote-book, year=c. 1380, author=Geoffrey Chaucer, title=Troilus and Criseyde, chapter=, edition= citation
  • , passage=The sterne wind so loude gan to route That no wight other noyse mighte here; And they that layen at the dore with-oute, 745 Ful sykerly they slepten alle y-fere; And Pandarus, with a ful sobre chere, Goth to the dore anon with-outen lette, Ther-as they laye , and softely it shette. }}
  • * {{quote-book, year=1597, author=King James I, title=Daemonologie., chapter=, edition= citation
  • , passage=Ye must first remember to laye the ground, that I tould you before: which is, that it is no power inherent in the circles, or in the holines of the names of God blasphemouslie vsed: nor in whatsoeuer rites or ceremonies at that time vsed, that either can raise any infernall spirit, or yet limitat him perforce within or without these circles. }}
  • * {{quote-book, year=1775, author=Various, title=Continental Monthly, Vol. I, No. V, May, 1862, chapter=, edition= citation
  • , passage=He was a wight of grisly fronte, And muckle berd ther was upon 't, His lockes farre down did laye : Ful wel he setten on his hors, Thatte fony felaws called Mors, For len it was and grai. }}
  • * {{quote-book, year=1806, author=Walter Scott, title=Minstrelsy of the Scottish border (3rd ed) (1 of 3), chapter=, edition= citation
  • , passage=Aftir that, my seid lord retournyng to the campe, wold in nowise bee lodged in the same, but where he laye the furst nyght. }}