late vs deceased

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Xander2024

Senior Member
Russian
Hello again,

will someone please tell me if these two adjectives are interchangeable:

Her late husband
Her deceased husband(??)

or is there a difference?

Thank you.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I think either term would be appropriate and equally polite, Xander. Both of them are softer ways of saying "dead". Both would work in a polite letter or conversation. I'd use "late" if her husband had been dead for a while. I'd use "deceased" in a phrase such as "recently deceased".
     

    Xander2024

    Senior Member
    Russian
    They are interchangeable if preceded by "her" and followed by "husband", as in post 1, but they are not always interchangeable.
    I guessed so, SS. By the way, they are not listed as synonyms in my dictionary. But I can't think of examples where they couldn't be interchangeable.
     
    Last edited:

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It depends on the surrounding words and the part of speech. If "deceased" is a noun, yes - you can say "The relatives of the deceased." As I said, though, you would not say "A tribute to the deceased Peter Cook", where "deceased" is an adjective, and you would not say "Let's reflect on the life of the deceased X" at X's funeral.
     

    Xander2024

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Hmm... It seems a bit more complicated than I'd expected when opening this thread.
    Ok, "deceased" can also be a noun and in this case it does not suggest "died recently", does it?
    But in other situations, it is always safe to use "late" if I'm not sure which word to use, right?
     
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