1. Being the second of two persons or things mentioned: Regarding captain and major, the latter rank is higher.
2. Near or nearer to the end: the latter part of the book.
3. Further advanced in time or sequence; later: a style that has been revived in latter times.
The second of two persons or things mentioned.
[Middle English, later, from Old English lætra; see lē- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.