then

adverb
\ ˈt͟hen How to pronounce then (audio) \

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 Empathy was not a core trait of the male leader back then. Joy Burnford, Forbes, "Accelerating The Pace Of Change In Gender Parity," 13 May 2021 And Cirne stood up for Staples, who was then chief product officer, saying Staples was taking New Relic through a necessary – and necessarily difficult – transition. oregonlive, "New Relic, one of Portland’s biggest tech employers, names new CEO after tumultuous year," 13 May 2021 On April 22, India recorded what was then the highest daily increase of Covid-19 cases in the world since the start of the pandemic, with 314,835 new infections. Helen Regan, CNN, "The latest on Covid-19 and India's worsening crisis," 13 May 2021 Gardner was in the front seat and her child Tolouse, who was an infant then but is now 2, was in a car seat. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Caleb ‘C.J.’ Whisnand, slain 5-week-old, was buried in rural Lowndes County; father charged with capital murder," 13 May 2021 Streetcars weren’t air-conditioned back then, so many were completely open with no sides. Mariana Rivas, Dallas News, "How were streetcars powered in the 1940s and 50s? Curious Texas investigates," 13 May 2021 If workers prefer making the extra wages in warehousing or e-commerce, then there could be a permanent shift on how many workers are available for food services. Michelle Cheng, Quartz, "McDonald’s is bumping up pay as low-wage workers suddenly have options," 13 May 2021 If the other spouse received just $1,000 in unemployment compensation in 2020, then the exclusion for tax purposes that the couple would receive would be $11,200 — not $16,000. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Some people are waiting longer for tax refunds: Why they're delayed," 13 May 2021 If the Heat lose to the 76ers on Thursday, then yes, that win against Milwaukee will be pretty important for Miami to stay ahead of New York (especially if the Knicks beat the Spurs on Thursday). Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Who are the Milwaukee Bucks likely to draw in the first round of the NBA playoffs?," 13 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As soon as Lovato sat down with the then owners and learned about the building’s history, he was hooked. Brayden Garcia, Dallas News, "90 years of gambling and barbecue celebrated at one of Arlington’s most storied restaurants," 28 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Belgium has never fully come to terms with its brutal 19th century rule of Congo, though a statue of the then ruler, King Leopold II, was removed in Antwerp this week. Alan Crawford, Bloomberg.com, "Brexit Britain Is Forced to Confront Its Inglorious Past," 12 June 2020 In 2016, John Key, New Zealand's then prime minister, announced Predator Free 2050 -- an ambitious project to eradicate predators across the country. Sarah Lazarus, CNN, "Can tech save the kakapo, New Zealand's 'gorgeous, hilarious' parrot?," 26 Dec. 2019 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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Time Traveler for then

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for then

Last Updated

15 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Then.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/then. Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce then (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on then

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for then

Nglish: Translation of then for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of then for Arabic Speakers

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