Old English lætra "slower," comparative of læt "late" (see late (adj.)). Meaning "belonging to a subsequent period" is from c. 1200. Sense of "that has been mentioned second of two or last" is first recorded 1550s.
In modern use the more common word is later, which is from mid-15c. and is perhaps a new formation or a variant of this word. Latter survives mostly in the phrase the latter, which, with the former is used to avoid repetition (but sometimes incorrectly, when more than two are involved).
Old English lator, "more slowly," comparative of late. From c. 1200 as "at a later time." Old English also had lætemest (adv.) "lastly, finally."
"belonging to recent times," 1842; see latter (adj.). Originally in Latter-day Saints, the Mormon designation for themselves.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to let go, slacken."
It forms all or part of: alas; allegiance; lassitude; last (adj.) "following all others;" late; latter; lenient; lenitive; lenity; let (v.) "allow;" let (n.) "stoppage, obstruction;" liege.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek ledein "to be weary;" Latin lenis "mild, gentle, calm," lassus "faint, weary;" Lithuanian lėnas "quiet, tranquil, tame, slow," leisti "to let, to let loose;" Old Church Slavonic lena "lazy," Old English læt "sluggish, slow," lætan "to leave behind."
1979, Japanese, from kara "empty" + oke "orchestra," the latter a shortened form of okesutora, which is a Japanning of English orchestra.