English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English timely, tymely, timliche, from Old English *tīmlīc (adj) and tīmlīċe (in good time; timely; soon, adverb), equivalent to time +‎ -ly. Cognate with Danish timelig, Swedish timlig, Icelandic tímalegur, tímanlegur.

Pronunciation edit

  • enPR: tīmʹlē, IPA(key): /ˈtaɪmli/
    • (file)

Adjective edit

timely (comparative timelier, superlative timeliest)

  1. Done at the proper time or within the proper time limits; prompt.
    Synonyms: on time, well-timed; see also Thesaurus:punctual
    Antonyms: ill-timed, late; see also Thesaurus:overdue
    • 2012, Frederick D. Lipman, Whistleblowers, Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, →ISBN, page 201:
      If the whistleblower submitted a timely response, pursuant to Step 9, the Claims Review Staff will consider the issues, along with any supporting documentation, and make its Proposed Final Determination.
  2. Happening or appearing at the proper time.
    Synonyms: opportune, seasonable; see also Thesaurus:timely
    Antonyms: inopportune, unseasonable; see also Thesaurus:untimely
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, book 4, lines 614–616:
      [] and the timely dew of sleep, / Now falling with soft slumbrous weight, inclines / Our eye-lids []
    • 1891, J.K.S., Drinking Song:
      There are people, I know, to be found, / ⁠Who say and apparently think / That sorrow and care may be drowned / By a timely consumption of drink.
    • 2011 October 20, Jamie Lillywhite, “Tottenham 1 - 0 Rubin Kazan”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      The athletic Walker, one of Tottenham's more effective attacking elements with his raids from right-back, made a timely intervention after Rose had been dispossessed and even Aaron Lennon was needed to provide an interception in the danger zone to foil another attempt by the Russians.
  3. (obsolete) Keeping time or measure.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, book 1, canto 4, verse 4, lines 33–36:
      High lifted up were many loftie towres, / And goodly galleries farre over laid, / Full of faire windowes and delightful bowres; / And on the top a Diall told the timely howres.

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

Adverb edit

timely (comparative more timely, superlative most timely)

  1. (archaic) In good time; early, quickly.
    • 2000, George R.R. Martin, A Storm of Swords, Bantam, published 2011, page 587:
      ‘If I had been born more timely, he said, Rhaegar would have married me instead of Elia, and it would all have come out different.’
  2. (obsolete) At the right time; seasonably.
    • 1646, Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica:
      And this we shall more readily perform, if we timely survey our knowledge, impartially singling out those encroachments, which junior compliance and popular credulity hath admitted.
  3. (law) In compliance with applicable time limits.
    • 1998, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, US v. Merino-Balderrama:
      On May 14, 1997, the jury convicted the defendant, who currently is serving a fifteen-month sentence. The defendant timely appeals.
    • 2003, United States Supreme Court, Clay v. United States[2]:
      [] § 2255's one-year limitation period starts to run when the time for seeking such review expires. Under this rule, Clay's § 2255 petition was timely filed.

See also edit

Middle English edit

Adverb edit


  1. Alternative form of tymely