better late than never

(redirected from but better never late)

better late than never

The delayed occurrence or achievement of something that one desires is better than it not happening at all. This set phrase is often used to acknowledge (perhaps begrudgingly) that something has finally occurred. After two weeks, I finally got a return phone call from that company. Better late than never, I guess. I'm sorry my gift came late, but better late than never, right?
See also: better, late, never

Better late than never.

Prov. Cliché Doing something late is better than not doing it. I'm sorry I'm late to the party. Better late than never, right? Jill: Lisa's birthday was two weeks ago. Should I send her a card now? Jane: Better late than never.
See also: better, late, never

better late than never

Being tardy is better than not at all, as in We've been waiting for you for an hour-but better late than never. This phrase, first recorded about 1200, appears in several early English proverb collections, often with the added but better never late. Today it is often used in exasperation over a delay, as in the example.
See also: better, late, never

better late than never

People say better late than never to mean that it is better for something to happen later than planned or wanted than not to happen at all. I didn't fall in love until I was 50, but better late than never! Perhaps I should have started the project years ago, I said to myself, but maybe it is better late than never. Note: This expression is often used to show that you think that something should have been done sooner.
See also: better, late, never