then

adverb
\ ˈt͟hen \

Definition of then 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : at that time

2a : soon after that : next in order of time walked to the door, then turned

b : following next after in order of position, narration, or enumeration : being next in a series first came the clowns, and then came the elephants

c : in addition : besides then there is the interest to be paid

3a : as a necessary consequence if the angles are equal, then the complements are equal

b(1) : in that case take it, then, if you want it so much

(2) used after but to qualify or offset a preceding statement she lost the race, but then she never really expected to win

c : according to that : as may be inferred your mind is made up, then

d : as it appears : by way of summing up the cause of the accident, then, is established

and then some

: with much more in addition would require all his strength and then some

then

noun

Definition of then (Entry 2 of 3)

: that time since then, he's been more cautious

then

adjective

Definition of then (Entry 3 of 3)

: existing or acting at or belonging to the time mentioned the then secretary of state

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Examples of then in a Sentence

Adverb

She lived in the Soviet Union, as it then was called. Just then he walked in. Back then, he was living in New York.

Noun

Since then, I've been more careful. He advised me to wait until then. They'll announce their decision next week. Until then, she'll just have to hope for the best. We should get there before then. They were friends from then on. Nothing like that had ever happened up to then.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

The teams will then play a home-and-home series beginning in Ypsilanti, Michigan in 2019 with a return game at Kroger Field in 2020. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky Football | Why UK is opening the season at Southern Mississippi," 30 Aug. 2017 Then there’s new starting quarterback Jacob Beck, who only threw 12 passes last year as a junior in a blowout loss to Valhalla. Oscar Terrones, San Diego U-T Preps, "Mar Vista in rebuilding mode, but team's expectations are high," 30 Aug. 2017 Then the Bolognese is before me, a skein of pasta barely glazed with pale sauce of remarkable subtlety. Patric Kuh, Los Angeles Magazine, "What Makes the Bolognese Sauce at Rossoblu So Good?," 30 Aug. 2017 In 2013, all but one Texas Republican who was serving in Congress then and is still in office now voted against an aid package for New York and New Jersey following Hurricane Sandy. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: We asked Texas Republicans about Harvey and climate change. Only one answered.," 30 Aug. 2017 Then on Sunday, Aug. 27, Kansas City resident Ryan Elsenpeter filed a complaint with the ethics commission again alleging a conflict. Lynn Horsley, kansascity, "Ethics commission rules for councilwoman on conflict over KCI," 30 Aug. 2017 Leave it alone for about 1 minute, then stir slowly and gently. Polly Campbell, Cincinnati.com, "Celebrate cheese at Smale Park's Cheese Fest," 30 Aug. 2017 The individualized approach involves harvesting cancer patients’ immune cells, genetically engineering them, then returning them to patients’ bodies. Liz Szabo, Kaiser Health News, "Pioneering Cancer Gene Therapy Gets Green Light — And $475,000 Price Tag," 30 Aug. 2017 That followed the 1997 creation of State Power, which was carved from what was then the Power Industry Ministry to separate the business and regulatory functions of the sector. Bloomberg.com, "China's $1 Trillion Power Industry Overhaul Is Just Starting," 29 Aug. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

By then students may have a new high school to move into. Mará Rose Williams, kansascity, "New project-based high school opens in the Park Hill district," 16 Aug. 2017

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

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1584, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for then

Adverb

Middle English than, then then, than, from Old English thonne, thænne; akin to Old High German denne then, than, Old English thæt that

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More Definitions for then

then

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of then

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: at that time : at the time mentioned

—used to indicate what happened or happens next

—used to indicate what should be done next

then

noun

English Language Learners Definition of then (Entry 2 of 3)

: that time

then

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of then (Entry 3 of 3)

: existing at or belonging to the time mentioned

then

adverb
\ ˈt͟hen \

Kids Definition of then

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : at that time People then believed in dragons.

2 : soon after that : next Go two blocks, then turn left.

3 : in addition : besides Then there are the dishes to wash.

4 : in that case Take it, then, if you want it so badly.

5 : as an expected result If you were there, then you must have seen me.

then

noun

Kids Definition of then (Entry 2 of 3)

: that time Wait until then.

then

adjective

Kids Definition of then (Entry 3 of 3)

: existing or acting at that time the then president

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Comments on then

What made you want to look up then? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

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