seldom

adverb
sel·​dom | \ ˈsel-dəm How to pronounce seldom (audio) \

Definition of seldom

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: in few instances : rarely, infrequently

seldom

adjective

Definition of seldom (Entry 2 of 2)

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Synonyms & Antonyms for seldom

Synonyms: Adverb

infrequently, little, rarely

Antonyms: Adverb

frequently, oft, often, oftentimes (or ofttimes)

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Examples of seldom in a Sentence

Adverb

Employers also say that foreign-born workers tend to work harder, be more reliable, and complain less than the natives they can hire at the same wage. This is not surprising. Unskilled immigrants have seldom finished secondary school, but they have overcome all kinds of obstacles both to get here and to stay here. — Christopher Jencks, New York Review of Books, 27 Sept. 2007 "The pervasive theme is rebellion." Laurel Thatcher Ulrich begins her new book, "Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History," struggling to explain—understand—the appeal of an aside she made in the spring 1976 issue of an academic journal, a comment that has become a popular slogan printed on T-shirts and coffee mugs and bumper stickers, usually without her permission and often without attribution. — Kathryn Harrison, New York Times Book Review, 30 Sept. 2007 Kangaroo rats belong to a North American family of rodents well known for living in arid habitats, where they forage almost exclusively for seeds. They seldom have access to drinking water, but instead get most of their moisture from digesting the seeds. — Michael A. Mares, Natural History, November 2003 We seldom go to the movies. This type of turtle seldom grows over four inches in length.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

There is seldom more than one Muslim woman in the room, much less a black Muslim woman. Hadeel Eltayeb, Teen Vogue, "Listening to Muslim Women Is More Important This Muslim Women's Day Than Ever Before," 27 Mar. 2019 The work is seldom performed, but stellar acting from director Tom Teti’s three-member cast turns it into a poignant experience. Hugh Hunter, Philly.com, "'I Ought to Be in Pictures' at Act II Playhouse: Three actors make a Neil Simon rarity poignant, lovable," 4 Mar. 2018 High: $4,800 a day Accidental splurges are a bona fide hazard in high-cost Zurich. Plot your stay carefully by taking in the rarefied sites that tourists seldom see. Adam H. Graham, WSJ, "Two Infallible Itineraries to Zurich—for $4,800 or $370 a day," 16 Apr. 2019 Here was the Mahler (born a Bohemian!) one often reads about yet seldom hears, in which a world of competing, even conflicting, musical gestures reflects the vast heterogeneity of the composer’s Habsburg homeland. David Mermelstein, WSJ, "The Czech Philharmonic’s Global Ambitions," 31 Oct. 2018 Shriver envisioned a national or international movement providing winning moments for children who often suffered ridicule and seldom enjoyed public triumphs. Alice George, Smithsonian, "For 50 Years, the Special Olympics Has Given Marginalized Superstars Center Stage," 10 July 2018 With language reaching belligerent levels seldom heard since the 2016 campaign, Republican tactics seemed aimed at least in part at activating loyal supporters for the midterm elections. Washington Post, "Tempers raised by immigration issue give way to insults," 26 June 2018 With language reaching belligerent levels seldom heard since the 2016 campaign, Republican tactics seemed aimed at least in part at activating loyal supporters for the midterm elections. Jonathan Lemire, The Seattle Times, "Insults and rancor: Dems risk treading on Trump’s home field," 25 June 2018 With language reaching belligerent levels seldom heard since the 2016 campaign, Republican tactics seemed aimed at least in part at activating loyal supporters for the midterm elections. Jonathan Lemire, chicagotribune.com, "Insults and rancor: Democrats risk treading on Trump's home field," 25 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'seldom.' 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 seldom

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for seldom

Adverb and Adjective

Middle English, from Old English seldan; akin to Old High German seltan seldom

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Learn More about seldom

Dictionary Entries near seldom

selas

selcouth

seld

seldom

seldomly

seldomness

sele

Statistics for seldom

Last Updated

11 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for seldom

The first known use of seldom was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for seldom

seldom

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of seldom

: not often : almost never

seldom

adverb
sel·​dom | \ ˈsel-dəm How to pronounce seldom (audio) \

Kids Definition of seldom

: not often : rarely He seldom talks about his past.

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More from Merriam-Webster on seldom

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with seldom

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for seldom

Spanish Central: Translation of seldom

Nglish: Translation of seldom for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of seldom for Arabic Speakers

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