Punctuality is the characteristic of being able to complete a required task or fulfill an obligation before or at a previously designated time. "Punctual" is often used synonymously with "on time".
An opposite personality trait is tardiness.
According to each culture, there is often an understanding about what is considered an acceptable degree of punctuality. Usually, a small amount of lateness is acceptable; this is commonly about ten or fifteen minutes in Western cultures, but this is not the case in such instances as doctor's appointments or school lessons.
Some cultures have an unspoken understanding that actual deadlines are different from stated deadlines, for example with African time. For example, it may be understood in a particular culture that people will turn up an hour later than advertised. In this case, since everyone understands that a 9 pm party will actually start at around 10 pm, no-one is inconvenienced when everyone arrives at 10 pm.
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