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See also: spat, Spat, spaț, spať, spát, şpat, ṣpät, and spAt



From Middle High German spǣte, from Old High German spāti. Cognate with Hunsrik sped, from Low German späd, archaic Dutch spade (late). Probably related to sparen (to spare, conserve).


  • IPA(key): /ʃpɛːt/ (used naturally in western Germany and Switzerland)
  • IPA(key): /ʃpeːt/ (overall more common; particularly northern and eastern regions)
  • Rhymes: -ɛːt, -eːt
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spät (comparative später, superlative am spätesten)

  1. late

Usage notes[edit]

  • The English phrase I'm late cannot be literally translated into German (*Ich bin spät). Colloquial German has Ich bin zu spät, and more formal versions are Ich komme zu spät and Ich bin verspätet.
  • The phrase Ich bin spät dran implies slight lateness or can mean that one has been delayed but may still manage to arrive on time.



Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • spät” in Duden online