quondam

adjective quon·dam \ ˈkwän-dəm , -ˌdam \

Definition of quondam

:former, sometime
  • a quondam friend

quondam was our Word of the Day on 09/17/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of quondam in a Sentence

  1. a quondam oil baron now living comfortably in retirement

Recent Examples of quondam from the Web

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

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



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