Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary
The adjective υστερος (usteros) means later or next, and is the comparative form of an adjective that no longer exists. What this missing adjective may have meant (or why it was forgotten) isn't clear, but our comparative stems from the same Proto-Indo-European root "ud-", meaning upward, away, that gave English its adverb out (and verb to utter and adverb utterly).
That suggests that our adjective υστερος (usteros) may actually mean outer, rather than later, and refer to a location or period outside the one we are home to. In the classics too, our word tends to not so much describe some hindermost but included part, and much more some excluded thing that hobbles after whatever is included.
All this semantic nitpicking is actually important, since our adjective occurs in the New Testament in 1 Timothy 4:1 only, which speaks not simply of "latter periods" or "end times" but rather of "next periods" or a kind of temporal sequentiality that succeeds or supersedes rather than simply follows our own.
From this adjective υστερος (usteros), meaning next or outer, derive:
- The verb υστερεω (ustereo), meaning to come behind, later than, or even too late for; to come up short. As the parent adjective, our verb has a connotation of exclusion, not merely a being hindermost but a being an outside of. Hence it may mean to fail (fail to do justice, fail to be present, fail to perform or obtain), to be insufficient, to be wanting, to lack. In 2 Corinthians 11:9, Paul uses a passive form, apparently stating that his immediate audience was failing him and he came up short (also see 1 Corinthians 8:8, Romans 3:23, Hebrews 11:37). This verb is used 16 times, see full concordance, and from it in turn come:
- The noun υστερημα (usterema), which describes an instance of deficiency or a particular thing lacking. When followed by the genitive case, the word in the genitive describes whatever the deficiency exists in. It's used 9 times; see full concordance.
- The noun υστερησις (husteresis), which describes the general condition of being in want, or having not enough of anything (Mark 12:44 and Philippians 4:11 only).
- The adverb υστερον (husteron), meaning afterward, emphasizing the conclusion of some period or ordeal, and the beginning of a new. This adverb is used 12 times; see full concordance.