What Day is 'Mid-to-Late February'? Meaning, Definition, and Examples

By Sophia Merton, updated on March 13, 2023

Did someone use the phrase ‘mid to late February,’ and you’re wondering what days they are referring to? In this article, we’ll take a look at the meaning, origin, examples, and more.

In short, mid-to-late February is a phrase that refers to anywhere from February 14th or 15th to February 28th or 29th, depending on whether it is a leap year. Therefore, it isn’t pointing to a specific day but rather a range of about two weeks that makes up the second half of the month of February.

What Does 'Mid to Late February' Mean?

The phrase ‘mid to late February’ refers to the period of time between the middle of the month of February and the end of it. If someone says ‘mid to late February,’ they are likely referring to the date range of February 14th to February 28th or 29th, depending on if it’s a leap year.

‘Mid-February’ is a phrase that refers to the middle part of February. ‘Late February’ refers to the second half of the month. Therefore, if someone says ‘mid to late February,’ they are describing the time period starting in the middle of the month and ending on the final day of the month.

You can use the phrase ‘mid to late’ in reference to any month of the year. For example, you could say ‘mid to late October’ to refer to the range of dates between October 15th or 16th and October 31st.

How to Refer to the First Half of February (Or Any Month)

If you want to refer to the first half of a month, you can use the phrase ‘early to mid’ with the name of the month stated afterward. For example, you could say ‘early to mid-July’ if you wanted to point to the date range between July 1st and July 15th or a few days after.

It’s worth noting that this type of phrase is used to point to a range of dates without needing to be specific. For example, if someone asks you ‘what day do you want to go to the grocery store?’ you wouldn’t want to say ‘mid to late February.’ Instead, you would want to respond with a more specific day, such as ‘Saturday’ or ‘on the 17th.’

If someone were to ask you when you’re thinking of taking a vacation next year, however, it would be perfectly reasonable to say ‘mid to late February’ if you aren’t sure precisely which week you’ll be taking off for a holiday.

Where Does 'Mid to Late February' Come From?

The word ‘mid’ comes from the word ‘middle,’ which started to be used as a prefix by late Middle English. These days, it only exists as a prefix. Using ‘mid’ as a prefix to seasons and months is from late Old English.

‘Late’ comes from Old English and, by the mid-13th century, carried the meaning of “occurring in the latter part of a period of time.”

The History of February as a Month

The name for the month that follows January– ‘February’– comes from the late 14th century from the Latin phrase februarius mensis which translates to “month of purification.”

In the ancient Roman calendar that was used before 450 B.C., February was actually the last month of the year. This name is, therefore, in reference to the Roman feast of purification, which was held on the ides of the month. In the ancient Roman calendar,  the ‘ides’ of a month falls roughly in the middle of the month, hence ‘the ides of March’ referring to March 15th.

Understanding Leap Years and Leap Days

It’s worth noting that February, which is the second month of the year in both the Gregorian and Julian calendars, has 28 days in common years and 29 days in leap years. For this reason, the 29th day of February is known as the leap day.

Leap days come around every four years, making every fourth year have 366 days rather than the typical 365. This helps to keep the calendar year synchronized with the seasonal year or the astronomical year.

This is worth knowing if you are referring to ‘mid to late February,’ as every four years, there is an extra day at the end of the month. Even though it is a range of dates rather than a specific date that is pointed to in this phrase, it’s still good to remember that there can be one extra day in February some years.

The Use of the Phrase 'Mid to Late'

The phrase ‘mid to late’ starts showing up in published texts around the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. However, it appears to increase significantly in usage starting in the early 1960s.

One of the earliest examples offered by the Google Books Ngram Viewer is found in a gardening book from 1970 called The Garden Month by Month by Mabel Cabot Sedgwick and Robert Cameron. The phrase is used repeatedly to describe when specific plants typically flower, when the fruit ripens, and when the plant disperses its seeds.

An even earlier example is found in the 1883 publication Pamphlets on Biology: Kofoid collection, Volume 1195. In this text, there are numerous uses of the phrase ‘mid to late’ when describing the approximate date range when specific species of flowers bloom.

In a 1911 publication from the Canada Department of Agriculture Division of Horticulture, we also find the phrase used in relation to the development of a specific plant. In this instance, the plant in discussion is a variety of pear trees.

“The trees have withstood the rigours of the Ottawa climate for with years without winter injury or fire blight. The fruit is above medium size, yellowish-green overlaid with russett, shape of Bartlett; flesh juicy, flavour sweet and quality good. A late maturing pear, ready for picking mid to late September and keeps well in storage.”

As you can see, the phrase ‘mid to late’ is often used in relation to the growth and development of plants because it is difficult to pin a precise date down for these natural processes. ‘Mid to late’ is, therefore, a useful way to describe generally when a plant will fruit or blossom if it typically happens toward the second half of a month.

On the other hand, ‘mid to late’ or ‘early to mid’ aren’t useful phrases if you want to refer to a specific date. If a precise date has been chosen for the event or occurrence in question, it’s better to state the date than to give a vague range.

Examples of 'Mid to Late February' In Sentences

How would you use the phrase ‘mid to late February in a sentence?

Let’s take a look:

  • Would you be able to send me those documents by mid to late February? My boss has been asking for them.”
  • “I’d love to work on the project, but I’ll be traveling from mid to late February. It doesn’t sound like it will time out.”
  • “We’ve tentatively scheduled the photo shoot for mid to late February. That way, we can keep an eye on the weather and pick a nice day when the conditions will be right for good photos.”
  • Everyone in this town goes on vacation during mid to late February. For a few weeks, it feels like a ghost town around here.”
  • Mrs. Jones says that the freshman should have a topic chosen by mid to late February. If I don’t choose one soon, I’ll be in trouble!”
  • “I accidentally logged the project on my calendar in mid to late February of next year instead of this year! I’m glad I noticed the mistake when I did.”
  • “I think we’re going to need to start our garden later than mid to late February this year.”
  • “We were able to get tickets to the concert in mid to late February, but all that was left were nosebleed seats.”
  • “I can’t believe she chose mid to late February for her wedding date. Why not wait until the spring?”

Final Thoughts on ‘Mid to Late February’

‘Mid to late February’ is a phrase that refers to the range of dates starting February 14th or 15th and ending February 28th or 29th, depending on whether or not it’s a leap year.

If someone uses the phrase ‘mid to late February’ in conversation with you, they are generally pointing to the later half of February to give an idea as to when something will occur. ‘Mid-February’ refers to the 14th or 15th of February and a few days before and after, while ‘late February’ refers to the last week or two of the month.

The phrase ‘mid to late’ can be used to refer to the second half of any month of the year. To point to the first half of a month, you could use the phrase ‘early to mid’ in addition to the month you are discussing.

Are you ready to continue expanding your English vocabulary? Head over to our idioms blog for more idioms, phrases, expressions, sayings, and adages.

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Written By:
Sophia Merton
Sophia Merton is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Sophia received her BA from Vassar College. She is passionate about reading, writing, and the written word. Her goal is to help everyone, whether native English speaker or not, learn how to write and speak with perfect English.

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