When is It Too Late in the Afternoon?

What time is late afternoon? Or, more specifically, what is late afternoon? Strangely, there isn’t a single definition of what late afternoon is, but most people agree that it’s the time of day right before it gets dark. In order to describe this time, Oxford Dictionaries calls it the time between noon, or lunchtime, and nighttime.

Cambridge Dictionaries Online, on the other hand, is more specific. It says that the afternoon lasts from about noon, or after lunch, until about 6 p.m., or, depending on the time of year, when the sun starts to go down.

“Afternoon” was called “aftermete” in Middle English, which means “after the noon meal.” Still, late afternoon is hard to define because mealtimes and sunset times vary. In fact, the phrase “late afternoon” is sometimes used in place of “evening.”


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