yes·ter·year | \ˈye-stər-ˌyir \

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

All these characters from the sport's yesteryear walking around. Steve Rushin,, "Keith Hernandez, Lou Piniella Focus on Humanity, Not Glory, in New Memoirs," 16 May 2018 This week, American Idol finally got edgy and sleazed it up (in the best way possible!) by having the contestants choose the hottest Italo disco jams from yesteryear to perform for viewers. Robbie Daw, Billboard, "'American Idol' Recap: Top 10 Dwindles To 7 After Disney Night (Critic's Take)," 30 Apr. 2018 One of the most diverse collectibles from yesteryear is the legendary postcard. Brenda Yenke,, "New location for the Annual Postcard & Paper Show: Yenke Peddler antiques," 26 Apr. 2018 But look deeper, and this isn’t the same old regulatory clash from yesteryear. Laurent Belsie, The Christian Science Monitor, "Trump's challenge to fuel-efficient car standards: an uphill battle," 3 Apr. 2018 These are historical statements from yesteryear describing a despised race of people in America. Michael Harriot, The Root, "When the Irish Weren’t White," 17 Mar. 2018 That’s not exactly the blueprint of teams from yesteryear when there was more clarity about the top four (sometimes five) starters by this time of year. John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle, "Big rotation gambles for Giants, A’s: nobody new," 23 Feb. 2018 Co-hosted with the Ashbel Woodward Museum, guests will visit Franklin's one-room schoolhouse on Kahn Road/ All acorns will have a chance to participate in five different games and activities just like the children of yesteryear once played. Courant Community, "Community News For The Putnam-Killingly Edition," 10 July 2018 Fronted by a circular driveway, the Traditional-style home opens to an interior with the decorative styling of yesteryear. Jack Flemming,, "Onetime Beverly Hills abode of actress Mary Martin seeks $6.6 million," 3 July 2018

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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yes, thanks



Phrases Related to yesteryear

of yesteryear

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Time Traveler for yesteryear

The first known use of yesteryear was in 1870

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More Definitions for yesteryear


yes·ter·year | \ˈye-stər-ˌyir \

Kids Definition of yesteryear

: a time in the past

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