"Latest" also has the meaning of most recent. As in "Have you heard the latest news?" or "Suzie's latest boyfriend is really cute."
Adjective, Sense 5. 
I believe this is actually an extension of an EME sense "the previous holder (of a position or office)", as in
The late Master of The Rolls confirmed my pension before his retirement.
It links with the sense "towards the end of a period of time", where we now use "recently"
... Sir William Hamilton, lately returned from his Embassy to Naples, ...
This sense of late implies "deceased" when referring to a hereditary peer and holders of office for life, since that is almost the only way they relinquish their position, and that has overtaken the original meaning in an age when few people talk about "the late Duke of Norfolk", but do talk about "the late John Lennon". But it can still be used in the original sense, albeit only in rather formal contexts, when referring to the office rather than the man, for instance
The late Prime Minister, Tony Blair, ...
although at time of writing he is very much alive.
Is that actually a new sense, or should it be merged into sense 5?
late (adj) extra sense? 
Doesn't this word also mean "pregnant" or having lost one's period? Tooironic 00:44, 17 January 2010 (UTC)