The Türkenschanzpark in Vienna during the early afternoon
Visitors to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City during the late afternoon

Afternoon is the time of the day between noon and evening. It is the time when the sun is descending from its zenith in the sky to somewhat before its terminus at the horizon in the west direction. In human life, it occupies roughly the latter half of the standard work and school day. It is also associated with a number of concerns related to health, safety, and economic productivity: generally, the early afternoon, after most people have eaten lunch, corresponds to decreased work performance, decreased alertness, and a higher incidence of motor vehicle accidents. It is often taken to be from 12 noon to sometime after 5 PM, but during winter it may be from 12 noon to 4 PM and during summer it may be from 12 noon to 8 PM.[citation needed] Or it might be from noon to when the sun goes down.


Afternoon is the time occurring between noon and evening.[1] The specific range of time this encompasses varies in one direction: noon is currently defined as a constant 12:00 pm,[2] but when afternoon ends is dependent on when evening begins, for which there is no standard definition.[3] However, before a period of transition from the twelfth to fourteenth centuries, noon instead referred to 3 pm—possible explanations include shifting times for prayers and midday meals, along which one concept of noon was defined—and so afternoon would have referred to a narrower timeframe.[4]

The word afternoon, which derives from after and noon, has been attested from about the year 1300; Middle English contained both afternoon and the synonym aftermete. The standard locative marking for the word was at afternoon in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries but has shifted to in the afternoon since then.[5] In Southern U.S. and Midland American English, the word evening is sometimes used to encompass all times between noon and night.[3] The Irish language contains four different words to mark time intervals from late afternoon to nightfall, this period being considered mystical.[6] Metaphorically, the word afternoon refers to a relatively late period in the expanse of time or in one's life.[1]

The term should not be confused with "after noon" (two separate words), which is a translation of the Latin post meridiem (p.m.), meaning a time between 12:00 midday and 12:00 midnight.

Other Languages
العربية: بعد الظهر
বাংলা: বিকাল
Bahasa Banjar: Kamarian
Bân-lâm-gú: Ē-tàu
català: Tarda
čeština: Odpoledne
Deutsch: Nachmittag
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Dopmezdé
español: Tarde
euskara: Arratsalde
فارسی: بعد از ظهر
galego: Tarde
한국어: 오후
हिन्दी: दोपहर
Bahasa Indonesia: Sore
italiano: Pomeriggio
Kiswahili: Alasiri
Kreyòl ayisyen: Apremidi
magyar: Délután
македонски: Попладне
Bahasa Melayu: Petang
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Â-dáu
Nederlands: Middag (tijd)
Papiamentu: Atardi
português: Tarde
Runa Simi: Inti t'iksuy
Scots: Efternuin
سنڌي: ٽيپھري
svenska: Eftermiddag
தமிழ்: பிற்பகல்
ไทย: บ่าย
اردو: سہ پہر
Tiếng Việt: Buổi chiều
Winaray: Kulóp
粵語: 晏晝
žemaitėška: Popėitė
中文: 下午