of·​ten·​times | \ ˈȯ-fən-ˌtīmz, nonstandard ˈȯf-tən-\
variants: or ofttimes \ ˈȯf(t)-​ˌtīmz \

Definition of oftentimes

: often, repeatedly the quickness of the hand oftentimes deceives the eye— W. V. Quine

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Did You Know?

Despite its archaic, literary ring, oftentimes is quite alive today. In fact, it seems to be more popular even now than it was thirty years or so ago, appearing frequently both in written expressions and in quoted speech. Oftentimes was first used in the 14th century (the same century that gave us often), and its meaning hasn't changed - as meanings oftentimes will - in all that time. It was formed as an extension of its slightly older synonym ofttimes. Today ofttimes is less common, but oft (which comes from Old English and also means "often" or "frequently") is popular in combination with past participles, as in oft-praised.

Examples of oftentimes in a Sentence

Oftentimes, he is the only man in the aerobics class. children oftentimes don't realize how quickly time passes

Recent Examples on the Web

In short: Things are getting smarter yet relaxed, sharper but undone, and more personal and expressive, but still from brands which are oftentimes very identifiable. Mark Holgate, Vogue, "What Sold for Men in 2018: Tailoring’s Back, Pants Are the New Sneakers, and the Logo Is Still Big (for Now)," 18 Dec. 2018 Collin Sexton is a divisive player, but inarguably has gifts as a scorer, oftentimes proving a load to stop at Alabama. Jeremy Woo, SI.com, "2018 NBA Draft: Collin Sexton Scouting Report and Highlights," 18 June 2018 And oftentimes racial, class, and gender biases get in the way of empathetic identification. Brian Resnick, Vox, "A sociologist explains why we make spectacle out of trauma like the Thai cave boys," 11 July 2018 The vandals, who oftentimes are listless area teenagers. Alison Kuznitz, courant.com, "Curbing Crime In Thompsonville: Civilians, Officials To Meet On Potential Block Watch," 9 July 2018 After all, the cloud top to the ground is oftentimes as much as ten miles! Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, "Bolts from the blue: Here’s how lightning can strike when a storm is tens of miles away," 27 June 2018 The Obama administration’s strategy was to expedite deportations of refugee children oftentimes without a lawyer, and jail refugee mothers with children as a deterrent. Elizabeth Llorente | Fox News, Fox News, "Years of backlash: Obama policy on illegal immigrants' children was also slammed by critics," 18 June 2018 And the fact that an artist was able to also not go on autopilot, because the creation of videos oftentimes is on autopilot. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: YouTube Music head Lyor Cohen on Recode Media," 12 June 2018 As the City Council stands, Morrison’s vote oftentimes is influential, particularly in split decisions that end in a 3-2 vote. David Hernandez, sandiegouniontribune.com, "National City voters deny mayor chance to seek re-election, results show," 7 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oftentimes.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of oftentimes

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for oftentimes

Last Updated

1 Jan 2019

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The first known use of oftentimes was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for oftentimes


of·​ten·​times | \ ˈȯ-fən-ˌtīmz \

Kids Definition of oftentimes

: often When I gossip, I oftentimes regret it.

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Comments on oftentimes

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


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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