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

Examples of time immemorial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Such stores often have open quilting days, when people bring their sewing machines, rotary cutters, and irons and sit together sewing and gossiping, like women have done from time immemorial. Ayelet Waldman, The New Yorker, 30 Mar. 2024 From time immemorial, the protection of historical content has required making many copies without authorization, regardless of the cultural or business forces at play, and that has not changed with the Internet. Benj Edwards, Ars Technica, 10 Aug. 2023 Even though people have been doing it for time immemorial, the act of not going above and beyond at work — work to rule, in labor parlance — got a viral rebrand thanks to social media. Maura Judkis, Washington Post, 20 June 2023 The groundhog, as New England gardeners have known for time immemorial, is a formidable adversary. BostonGlobe.com, 3 May 2023 Teammates in time immemorial have expressed faith in others to cash in when stakes and stress rose eyeball high. Bryce Miller, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Oct. 2023 The spiritual side of the moon: Astrology, myths and magic From time immemorial, people have considered the moon more than just a big clock or pretty night light. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 4 Oct. 2023 For thousands of years, from time immemorial, Huna Tlingit people lived year-round on the rich lands that today lie in Glacier Bay National Park. Lesley Evans Ogden, Discover Magazine, 7 Apr. 2023 At Easter, which from time immemorial has been a family holiday for Ukrainians, a day of warmth, hope and great unity. Hanna Arhirova, BostonGlobe.com, 16 Apr. 2023

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 12 Jun. 2024.

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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