quondam was our Word of the Day on 09/17/2015. Hear the podcast!
Examples of quondam in a sentence
a quondam oil baron now living comfortably in retirement
Did You Know?
Looking for an unusual and creative way to say "former"? "Quondam" (which came to English in the 16th century from Latin quondam, meaning "at one time" or "formerly") certainly fits the bill. Or maybe you'd prefer one of its synonyms: "whilom," "ci-devant" or "preterit." Or you could really go crazy with "umquhile," a word that is extremely rare even in its more natural Scots English setting. "Quondam" itself isn't exactly ubiquitous, but it's used more than any of the other words above. If you're looking for something a bit more pedestrian, you might try yet another synonym: "erstwhile." Despite its wonderfully archaic flavor, "erstwhile" is a highly favored alternative.
Origin and Etymology of quondam
Latin, at one time, formerly, from quom, cum when; akin to Latin qui who — more at who
First Known Use: 1539
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