Also found in: Wikipedia.
1. A child or adolescent who develops physically at a later point than is typical for their age. She's still quite small for a ninth grader, but I think she's just a late bloomer.
2. Someone who develops their talents or capabilities later than is typical among their peers. It took my brother until he was 35, but he finally found a stable career that he loves. I guess he was just a late bloomer. She was a bit of a trainwreck all throughout her undergraduate degree, but she turned out to be a late bloomer because now she's one of the leading academics in her field.
1. Lit. a plant that blooms later than similar plants or that blooms late in the season. There are a few late bloomers in the garden, but by fall, we don't care much anymore about flowers.
2. Fig. a person who finally develops a useful or superior skill or talents later than expected or desired. Joseph was a late bloomer, but turned out to be a formidable scholar in the long run.
A person who matures or achieves some goal more slowly than his or her peers. This cliché transfers the tendency of certain plants to bloom late in the growing season to human beings who are late to achieve their potential: for example, “He didn’t marry until he was in his mid-forties, a late bloomer if there ever was one.” The noun bloomer for a plant dates only from the first half of the eighteenth century, and the cliché from the twentieth century.