coming or being after the customary, useful, or expected time:
belated birthday greetings.
late, delayed, or detained:
We started the meeting without the belated representative.
Archaic. obsolete; old-fashioned; out-of-date:
a belated view of world politics.
Archaic. overtaken by darkness or night.
Contemporary Examples

But could this invoking of the words of the Godfather of Soul be a belated effort to inflate these flat polling numbers?
Why Mitt Romney’s Use of James Brown Annoys Black Voters Mansfield Frazier August 30, 2012

And: “It was a season of true magic, perhaps all the more powerful because of its belated entry into my life.”
One Year to Live Olivia Gentile April 11, 2009

But there is a belated wake-up among conservatives opposed to cannibalization.
Will Dick Lugar Be The RINO-Hunters’ Latest Trophy? John Avlon May 4, 2012

Rick Santorum, the (belated) winner in Iowa, who had been battling Gingrich for that distinction, is the unambiguous loser.
Newt Gingrich Scores Major Upset in South Carolina Primary Howard Kurtz January 21, 2012

Marrero—who only reached “The Show” as a belated 39-year-old rookie—always did possess an odd sense of timing.
Havana Bids Adios to Conrado Marrero, MLB’s Oldest Player Peter C. Bjarkman April 24, 2014

Historical Examples

I wonder now that no one suggested we might pick up a belated mammoth.
Through Arctic Lapland Cutcliffe Hyne

Joan laid it carefully aside and brought on their belated breakfast.
A Singer from the Sea Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

Miriam would not encourage these reminiscences, so belated on the part of her stepmother.
Moor Fires E. H. (Emily Hilda) Young

Only then did he make a belated reply to Culver’s statement.
Two Thousand Miles Below Charles Willard Diffin

On the day of the funeral the belated ships of Whitney and Wollaston arrived.
Sir Walter Ralegh William Stebbing

late or too late: belated greetings

1610s, “overtaken by night,” past participle adjective from belate “to make late, detain,” from be- + late. Sense of “coming past due, behind date” is from 1660s. Related: Belatedly.

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