Origin and Etymology of whilom
Middle English, literally, at times, from Old English hwīlum, dative plural of hwīl time, while
First Known Use: 12th century
Definition of whilom
Examples of whilom in a sentence
<pointedly ignored the whilom friends who had turned on her>
Did You Know?
Whilom shares an ancestor with the word while. Both trace back to the Old English word hwil, meaning "time" or "while." In Old English "hwilum" was an adverb meaning "at times." This use passed into Middle English (with a variety of spellings, one of which was "whilom"), and in the 12th century the word acquired the meaning "formerly." The adverb's usage dwindled toward the end of the 19th century, and it has since been labeled "archaic." The adjective first appeared on the scene in the 15th century, with the now-obsolete meaning "deceased," and by the end of the 16th century it was being used with the meaning "former." It's a relatively uncommon word, but it does see occasional use.
First Known Use of whilom
Learn More about whilom
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for whilom
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up whilom? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).