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

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 Many shows of yesteryear do not envelop viewers in an alternate universe. Justin Wm. Moyer, Washington Post, 15 May 2022 East Hampton Speaks will take place Friday, May 27, at 10:30 a.m. at the East Hampton Senior Center, 105 Main St. Discuss the good ole days of yesteryear in East Hampton. Hartford Courant, 11 May 2022 These inconceivable ideas of yesteryear, previously observed only in movies or books, are no longer the stuff of fiction. Sean Finn, Forbes, 6 May 2022 Many firms with flexible working models are remodeling offices to spread out desks and add more spaces where workers can relax, a departure from the cramped cubicles of yesteryear. Alexander Thompson, The Christian Science Monitor, 2 May 2022 How to pay for the redevelopment The funding structure is the key difference between the redevelopment talk of yesteryear and the ambitious efforts of today. The Salt Lake Tribune, 1 May 2022 But what Seki and his team are trying to do is to strengthen the passion for and understanding of where modern cars came from through concentrated flashbacks to the legendary super cars and classic cars of yesteryear. Peter Lyon, Forbes, 30 Apr. 2022 Snowmachines are fast, dependable and easy to ride when compared with the machines of yesteryear. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, 23 Apr. 2022 This new stance is a far cry from the business-friendly politics of yesteryear. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, 22 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near yesteryear



yes, thanks

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Statistics for yesteryear

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Yesteryear.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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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

Britannica English: Translation of yesteryear for Arabic Speakers


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