of·​ten·​times | \ ˈȯ-fən-ˌtīmz How to pronounce oftentimes (audio) , ˈȯf-tən- \

Definition of oftentimes

: on many occasions : often The quickness of the hand oftentimes deceives the eye.— W. V. Quine Seemingly untoward events oftentimes lead to successful results.— Herman Melville Oftentimes they were asleep, but occasionally might be heard talking together …— Nathaniel Hawthorne A man's ignorance sometimes is not only useful, but beautiful – while his knowledge, so called, is oftentimes worse than useless …— Henry David Thoreau Oftentimes cyclists mistake dehydration for hunger.— Brian Wansink

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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 With each new photo shoot and red carpet event, the actor delivers breathtaking moments that will oftentimes go viral on the internet, causing folks to ooh and aah at her outfits, hair, and makeup. Gabi Thorne, Allure, 7 Sep. 2021 Because farm products traditionally trade many hands, the integrity of the product is oftentimes diluted at each node of the supply chain. Esha Chhabra, Forbes, 28 May 2021 The reality at the driving scene can oftentimes differ from a prior digitized map. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 17 Apr. 2021 Inspired by Japanese life and aesthetics, Yamazaki Home places an emphasis on functionality, something that other decor pieces can oftentimes miss. Noelle Ike, CNN Underscored, 8 Apr. 2021 Introducing our families to social media can oftentimes be a stressful process. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, 21 Dec. 2020 His body moves faster than his mind, and he oftentimes uses his body instead of words. The Washington Post, 2 Sep. 2020 Both remaining candidates have served on the City Council, which had an oftentimes contentious relationship with the mayor. NOLA.com, 5 Aug. 2020 Before a friend told her about the kitchen, Mufambi told CNN that her family would oftentimes go to bed hungry. Nyasha Chingono, CNN, 18 June 2020

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

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Dictionary Entries Near oftentimes



of that nature

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Last Updated

17 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Oftentimes.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oftentimes. Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for oftentimes



English Language Learners Definition of oftentimes

: often


of·​ten·​times | \ ˈȯ-fən-ˌtīmz How to pronounce oftentimes (audio) \

Kids Definition of oftentimes

: often When I gossip, I oftentimes regret it.

More from Merriam-Webster on oftentimes

Nglish: Translation of oftentimes for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oftentimes for Arabic Speakers


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