At Last (or at Long Last)

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Meaning of Idiom 'At Last" or 'At Last'

The idiom 'at last' is used the same way as adverb finally, to mean after a long time or delay. It may have the connotation of something finally occurring after a long period of difficulty or irritation. At long last is a more emphatic version of the same idiom.


It should be noted that the idiom 'at last' should not be used as a direct substitute for the adverb finally. For example, if you were introducing a list of people, you would not use 'at last' before introducing the last person on the list. Another idiom, last but not least would be appropriate, however, and is frequently used in such situations.

"At last my new computer arrived. I thought it would never come."

"At long last! Susan has arrived. Nice of you to join us!"

"At long last, the boss has decided to include dental insurance in our health plans."


The idiom at last has been in use since around 1200. The variation "at long last" occurred during the early 1500's. (Source

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