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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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 His body moves faster than his mind, and he oftentimes uses his body instead of words. The Washington Post, "On Parenting: Meghan Leahy took your questions," 2 Sep. 2020 Both remaining candidates have served on the City Council, which had an oftentimes contentious relationship with the mayor. NOLA.com, "THE NEXT MAYOR OF MANDEVILLE: LAURÉ SICA OR CLAY MADDEN?," 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, "She didn't want her neighbors to go hungry during lockdown. Now she is feeding thousands daily," 18 June 2020 More outrageous still, oftentimes even when resourceful practitioners manage to procure their own PPE, hospital administrators are prohibiting its use, citing arcane policies, panicky patients, and concerns over image. Jolene Edgar, Allure, "How a COVID-19 Diagnosis Changed This Plastic Surgeon's Perspective on Aesthetic Medicine," 15 Apr. 2020 The standout defensive tackle was oftentimes the lone pass-rushing threat for TCU in 2019 and finished his final year with 3.5 sacks and 9.0 tackles for loss. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "TCU mock draft roundup: Ross Blacklock, Jeff Gladney, Jalen Reagor draw first-round buzz," 14 Apr. 2020 But in the turkey woods, rushing oftentimes blows the move. Tom Keer, Field & Stream, "8 Easy Ways to Avoid Messing Up on a Turkey Hunt," 27 Mar. 2020 This is where pneumonia can oftentimes become deadly and where a ventilator can be a lifesaver. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Dyson Goes From Vacuums to Ventilators in Just 10 Days," 26 Mar. 2020 In our case, there were eyes in the dugout fixated on the catcher, pitcher, and coach relaying the signs (oftentimes in college, coaches are the ones that call the game). Julian Mcwilliams, BostonGlobe.com, "Does sign stealing help you hit? Here’s some firsthand experience," 14 Jan. 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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Last Updated

16 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Oftentimes.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oftentimes. Accessed 19 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for oftentimes


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

Kids Definition of oftentimes

: often When I gossip, I oftentimes regret it.

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