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

Did you know?

Despite its archaic, literary ring, oftentimes is quite alive today. In fact, it seems to be more popular now than it was in past decades, appearing frequently both in written expression and in 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.

Example Sentences

Oftentimes, he is the only man in the aerobics class. children oftentimes don't realize how quickly time passes
Recent Examples on the Web Knowing how and when to pump the brakes or charge ahead are oftentimes best left to the eye, though there’s certainly room for play. Patricia Shannon, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 Oct. 2022 Hotel residences can oftentimes feel stale, but that’s not the case with this incredible $37 million residences that just hit the market. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 30 Sep. 2022 If not, take a minute and search the topic online; major respected news outlets will oftentimes report on viral social media posts and interview experts in the field. Dr. Michael Daignault, USA TODAY, 12 Aug. 2022 The Browns had really stellar attendance throughout their OTAs this offseason, and throughout the NFL when players show up for those optional practices, coaches will oftentimes cancel mandatory minicamp sessions all together. Ashley Bastock, cleveland, 14 June 2022 Henley added that domestic violence can oftentimes be linked to access to guns. Melody Leibner, Harper's BAZAAR, 14 June 2022 The high-stakes nature of a negotiation can oftentimes become a barrier to mutual understanding. Kwame Christian, Forbes, 17 May 2022 But coming up with the perfect Instagram caption to accompany that adorable photo from your childhood playdates can oftentimes lead to an acute case of writer's block. Elizabeth Berry, Woman's Day, 13 May 2022 Abstracting away complexity can oftentimes hide what's happening under the hood and why. Jaspreet Singh, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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


Dictionary Entries Near oftentimes

Cite this Entry

“Oftentimes.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oftentimes. Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


of·​ten·​times -ˌtīmz How to pronounce oftentimes (audio)
variants or ofttimes
: often

More from Merriam-Webster on oftentimes

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