A Day Late and a Dollar Short

Meaning of Idiom ‘A Day Late and a Dollar Short’

When something is a day late and a dollar short, it is too late and too little; delayed too long and ineffective; waiting too long to do something and being unprepared to do it effectively. 1Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010., 2Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008.

Examples Of Use

“Mike’s apology was a day late and a dollar short. There is just too much water under the bridge for me to ever forgive him.”

“The company’s effort to pay it’s employers fair wages was a day late and a dollar short.”

“The governor’s half-hearted announcement was a day late and a dollar short. Nobody believes he is interested in reforming campaign finance practices in the state.”

Origin

Used since at least the early 1960’s.

More Idioms Starting with D

More Day Idioms

More Dollar Idioms

More Late Idioms

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More Short Idioms

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Sources   [ + ]

1. Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.
2. Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008.