time immemorial


: time so long past as to be indefinite in history or tradition

called also time out of mind

: a time antedating a period legally fixed as the basis for a custom or right

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Our third wine this week is an exceptional white from the Loire Valley in France, a sauvignon blanc that hunkered down in a tough vintage and summoned the spirit of an ancient seabed to deliver a message seemingly from time immemorial. Dave Mcintyre, Washington Post, 19 Jan. 2023 From such displays of bicultural hubris, tragedies have blossomed from time immemorial, and the suggestion of a kinship between Mr. Bandele’s storytelling and that of the Western classical tradition is far from outlandish. John Anderson, WSJ, 3 Nov. 2022 From time immemorial, or at least since Sammy Baugh’s family left Temple for the charms of Sweetwater, which, not so coincidentally, included a better high school football team, Texas kids have changed schools for athletic reasons and gotten away with it. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, 31 Oct. 2022 Plastic or nanoparticles would also be good indicators of an industrial civilization that occurred in time immemorial. Stav Dimitropoulos, Popular Mechanics, 30 Aug. 2022 Longtime farmer Don Antone Sr. farms the same lands as his parents, grandparents and O'odham ancestors did along the Gila River from time immemorial. AZCentral.com, 8 Aug. 2022 Second-guessing bad coaching decisions from the press box has been part of the industry since time immemorial, but it’s become a lazy announcing trope to use the catch-all term of analytics to critique such decisions without delving into the specifics of a particular situation. Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY, 14 Nov. 2022 If this is so presumably there have been adaptations to higher elevations from time immemorial. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 22 Jan. 2012 It was painted in black and white to honor the stories of ancestors and the cultivation of this land since time immemorial. Javier Arce, The Arizona Republic, 9 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'time immemorial.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1602, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of time immemorial was in 1602

Dictionary Entries Near time immemorial

Cite this Entry

“Time immemorial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/time%20immemorial. Accessed 28 May. 2023.

Legal Definition

time immemorial

time im·​me·​mo·​ri·​al
: a time beyond legal memory formerly fixed by English law as the beginning of the reign of Richard I in 1189 but modified in common law
: a time going back beyond the memory of any living person
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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