• (RP) IPA: /ˈtɑːdi/
  • (GA) IPA: /ˈtɑɹdi/

tardy (comparative tardier, superlative tardiest)

  1. Late; overdue or delayed.
    He yawned, then raised a tardy hand over his mouth.
    • circa 1597 William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 3, Act IV, Scene 3,
      When everything is ended, then you come.
      These tardy tricks of yours will, on my life,
      One time or other break some gallows’ back.
    • 1795, Isaac D'Israeli, An Essay on the Manners and Genius of the Literary Character, London: T. Cadell Jr. and W. Davies, Chapter 9, p. 122,
      Men of genius anticipate their contemporaries, and know they are such, long before the tardy consent of the public.
    • 1914, Saki, “The Stake” in Beasts and Super-Beasts, London: John Lane, pp. 202-203,
      As a matter of fact, the luncheon fare, when it made its tardy appearance, was distinctly unworthy of the reputation which the justly-treasured cook had built up for herself.
    • 1963, James Baldwin, “Down at the Cross: Letter from a Region in My Mind” in The Fire Next Time, New York: Dial, p. 87,
      And the Black Muslims, along with many people who are not Muslims, no longer wish for a recognition so grudging and (should it ever be achieved) so tardy.
  2. Moving with a slow pace or motion; not swift.
    • circa 1595 William Shakespeare, Richard II (play), Act II, Scene 1,
      […] fashions in proud Italy,
      Whose manners still our tardy apish nation
      Limps after in base imitation.
    • 1638, George Sandys, “To the Prince” in A Paraphrase upon the Divine Poems, London,
      Nor should their Age by Yeares be told:
      Whose Souls, more swift then Motion, clime;
      And check the tardy Flight of Time.
    • 1700, Matthew Prior, “Carmen Seculare, For the Year 1700. To the King” in Poems on Several Occasions, London: Jacob Tonson, 2nd edition, 1709, p. 151,
      In various Views she tries her constant Theme;
      Finds him, in Councils, and in Arms, the same:
      When certain to o’ercome, inclin’d to save;
      Tardy to Vengeance; and with Mercy brave.
    • 1839, Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby, Chapter 49,
      […] a disease which medicine never cured, wealth never warded off, or poverty could boast exemption from; which sometimes moves in giant strides, and sometimes at a tardy sluggish pace, but, slow or quick, is ever sure and certain.
    • 1926, Hope Mirrlees, Lud-in-the-Mist, Millenium, 2000, Chapter 19,
      These berries […] are a deadly and insidious poison, though very tardy in their action, often lying dormant in the blood for many days.
  3. Ineffectual; slow-witted, slow to act, or dull.
    His tardy performance bordered on incompetence.
  4. (obsolete) Unwary; unready (especially in the phrase take (someone) tardy).
    • circa 1592, William Shakespeare, Richard III (play), Act IV, Scene 1,
      Be not ta’en tardy by unwise delay.
    • 1663, Samuel Butler, Hudibras, London, Canto 3, p. 104,
      Yield, Scoundrel base (quoth she) or die;
      Thy life is mine, and liberty.
      But if thou think’st I took thee tardy,
      And dar’st presume to be so hardy,
      To try thy fortune o’re afresh,
      I’le wave my title to thy flesh,
  5. (obsolete) Criminal; guilty.
Synonyms Translations Translations Noun

tardy (plural tardies)

  1. (US) A piece of paper given to students who are late to class.
    The teacher gave her a tardy because she did not come into the classroom until after the bell.
  2. (US) An instance of a student being marked as tardy by a teacher in his or her attendance sheet.

tardy (tardies, present participle tardying; past and past participle tardied)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To make tardy.

Proper noun
  1. Surname

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