Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

quondam

play
adjective quon·dam \ˈkwän-dəm, -ˌdam\

Definition of quondam

  1. :  former, sometime <a quondam friend>



Examples of quondam in a sentence

  1. <a quondam oil baron now living comfortably in retirement>



Did You Know?

Looking for an unusual and creative way to say "former"? "Quondam" (which came to English in the 16th century from Latin quondam, meaning "at one time" or "formerly") certainly fits the bill. Or maybe you'd prefer one of its synonyms: "whilom," "ci-devant" or "preterit." Or you could really go crazy with "umquhile," a word that is extremely rare even in its more natural Scots English setting. "Quondam" itself isn't exactly ubiquitous, but it's used more than any of the other words above. If you're looking for something a bit more pedestrian, you might try yet another synonym: "erstwhile." Despite its wonderfully archaic flavor, "erstwhile" is a highly favored alternative.

Origin and Etymology of quondam

Latin, at one time, formerly, from quom, cum when; akin to Latin qui who — more at who


First Known Use: 1539


Learn More about quondam


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up quondam? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

of, relating to, or near a shore

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

lavender-fields-in-france

Which of these is a synonym of caesura?

torrent megillah interruption rebellion
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ