yes·​ter·​year | \ ˈye-stər-ˌyir How to pronounce yesteryear (audio) \

Definition of yesteryear

1 : last year
2 : time gone by especially : the recent past

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Other Words from yesteryear

yesteryear adverb

Word History of Yesteryear

Mais où sont les neiges d’antan is the refrain of a famous poem by François Villon, translated as “But where are the snows of yesteryear?” The line is understood to express a melancholy nostalgia.

The translation was by the English poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Both the French antan and yesteryear originally simply meant “last year,” but today their meaning has broadened to “time gone by.”

Examples of yesteryear in a Sentence

the simple games of yesteryear that kept children entertained for hours
Recent Examples on the Web Instead, the trends gaining traction this winter are equally as puzzling as those of yesteryear, most notably in the knitwear department. Eliza Huber,, "From Boleros To Bras, 2021 Knitwear Is Taking A Turn For The Unexpected," 25 Jan. 2021 As for how much those postcards of yesteryear sell for today, expect small prices to match that small correspondence. René A. Guzman,, "10,000 vintage San Antonio postcards?! Collector has some that date back to the late 1800s," 22 Jan. 2021 At first glance, WandaVision is a playful satire of family sitcoms of yesteryear. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "All the Marvel Clues You Missed in WandaVision's First Two Episodes," 15 Jan. 2021 The jurists of yesteryear tended to be deferential to executive power, having come up through the Beltway system at a time when Republicans dominated the presidency and Democrats usually controlled Congress. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "Biden’s Court Problem," 17 Dec. 2020 The casino works to keep Cleveland holiday traditions alive by decking the halls and filling the display windows with items reminiscent of yesteryear. cleveland, "Despite Indiana roots, Cleveland is forever home to ‘A Christmas Story’," 13 Dec. 2020 The look of Mank, a hybrid of old and new, recalls the Hollywood of yesteryear without entirely paying homage. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The People Who Can See Inside David Fincher’s Head," 9 Dec. 2020 Buyers of older Vanguards routinely replaced the less-than-stellar triggers of yesteryear, but today’s guns have an adjustable match-quality, two-stage trigger and three-position safety. Michael Dickerson, Outdoor Life, "10 Great Mid-Priced Bolt-Action Hunting Rifles," 8 Dec. 2020 The Aurora Downtown group helped organize the display called Aurora Express - a downtown-wide holiday window theme featuring trains and other modes of transportation from yesteryear to the future. David Sharos,, "From classic trains to ‘Star Wars,’ downtown Aurora window art looks to brighten holiday season," 4 Dec. 2020

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

1870, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for yesteryear

yesterday + year

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Time Traveler for yesteryear

Time Traveler

The first known use of yesteryear was in 1870

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Statistics for yesteryear

Last Updated

11 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Yesteryear.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for yesteryear


yes·​ter·​year | \ ˈye-stər-ˌyir How to pronounce yesteryear (audio) \

Kids Definition of yesteryear

: a time in the past

More from Merriam-Webster on yesteryear

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yesteryear

Britannica English: Translation of yesteryear for Arabic Speakers

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