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

It’s eye-catching and another ode to the neighborhood’s yesteryears. Michael Candelaria,, "College Park Neighborhood Guide," 21 June 2018 The occasion seemed to lack the pep, zip and kick of yesteryear’s opening day. Johnny Miller, San Francisco Chronicle, "US ports closed to honor MLK," 28 Mar. 2018 Proof positive that some of the most noteworthy (and quirky) updos of yesteryear are primed for a reimagined reboot. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Yara Shahidi Does Travel Beauty Right in Waist-Grazing Twin Pigtails," 28 Aug. 2018 England didn’t have to look far to find ghosts of yesteryear, for there was one standing on its own sideline. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "22 years later, the weight of the world is off England's shoulders," 3 July 2018 The signage too, will be reflective of yesteryear, designed to fit in with the residential nature of the neighborhood including the original town hall across the street, now the home of Liberty Township Historical Society. Sue Kiesewetter,, "Rail station facade a nod to Liberty admin building's history," 5 June 2018 The Frese family of yesteryear (from left): David, Natalie, Sawyer (baby), Annabelle and Isaiah David Frese My daughter's senior year of high school nearly killed me. David Frese, kansascity, "The last graduation, the last game, the last prom. Parents, are you ready for it? | The Kansas City Star," 27 Apr. 2018 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

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



Statistics for yesteryear

Last Updated

14 Dec 2018

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on yesteryear

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with yesteryear

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yesteryear

Spanish Central: Translation of yesteryear

Britannica English: Translation of yesteryear for Arabic Speakers

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