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whilom

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adverb whi·lom \ˈhwī-ləm, ˈwī-\

Definition of whilom

archaic

  1. :  formerly

whilom was our Word of the Day on 02/04/2016. Hear the podcast!

Origin and Etymology of whilom

Middle English, literally, at times, from Old English hwīlum, dative plural of hwīl time, while


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whilom

adjective whi·lom

Definition of whilom

  1. :  former

Examples of whilom in a Sentence

  1. pointedly ignored the whilom friends who had turned on her

Take the Time to Learn About whilom

Whilom shares an ancestor with the word while. Both trace back to the Old English word hwil, meaning "time" or "while." In Old English hwilum was an adverb meaning "at times." This use passed into Middle English (with a variety of spellings, one of which was whilom), and in the 12th century the word acquired the meaning "formerly." The adverb's usage dwindled toward the end of the 19th century, and it has since been labeled archaic. The adjective first appeared on the scene in the 15th century, with the now-obsolete meaning "deceased," and by the 19th century it was being used with the meaning "former." It's a relatively uncommon word, but it does see occasional use.

First Known Use of whilom

15th century



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