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From Middle English afternone, after-non, equivalent to after- +‎ noon.



afternoon (plural afternoons)

  1. The part of the day from noon or lunchtime until sunset, evening, or suppertime or 6pm.
  2. (figurative) The later part of anything, often with implications of decline.
  3. (informal) A party or social event held in the afternoon.


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afternoon (not comparable)

  1. (archaic in the singular) In the afternoon.
    • 1646 March 19, Adam Eyre, “A Dyurnall, or Catalogue of All My Accions and Expences from the 1st of January, 1646–[7]”, in Yorkshire Diaries and Autobiographies in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, published 1877, page 22:
      I stayd at home till noone, and recd of Crowders for 3 loods of shilling 2l. 8s.; and afternoone I went with my wife to Wakefeild, where by ye way I spent at Toppitt 8d., and wee lay at Jackson’s all night.
    • 1688, “Proceedings against St. Mary Magdalen College in Oxon, for not Electing Anthony Farmer President of the said College”, in T. B. Howell, editor, Cobbett’s Complete Collection of State Trials, volume 12, published 1812, column 61:
      Afterwards [] they adjourned the court till two in the afternoon, and so went to prayers. Afternoon they called over the names of the rest of the college, demys, chaplains, &c.
    • 1752 [1699], Giovanni Francesco Gemelli Careri, anonymous translator, A Voyage Round the World, page 289:
      Afternoon we came to Fuchen, or Xucheu, as others call it, where we were forced to stay to have the boat search’d by the Mandarine or customer.

Related terms[edit]



  1. Ellipsis of good afternoon.


  • afternoon”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.
  • "afternoon, n., adv., and int.", in the Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford: Oxford University Press.