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

Conventional wind farms employ horizontal axis wind turbines, which spin at right angles to the wind much as windmills did on the farms of yesteryear. Shweta Narayan, Smithsonian, "How Engineers of New Energy Technology Are Taking Cues From Nature," 31 Aug. 2019 These aren’t civil rights or anti-war demonstrations of yesteryear. Nr Interview, National Review, "Identity Politics Runs Much Deeper than Politics," 27 Aug. 2019 And, much like the child movie stars of yesteryear, these idols are not seeing all the profits. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Jawline Explores the Teenage Dream of Social Media," 22 Aug. 2019 Riders sit atop a sable leather seat that matches the brown leather handlebar grips, echoing the luxe carseats and steering wheels of yesteryear. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Classy e-bike is designed like a luxe vintage car," 14 Aug. 2019 In our minds, Batsheva’s coolest dresses take cues from the modest Laura Ashley dresses of yesteryear but give them an edgier spin with sheer, metallic, and heavily patterned prints. Tatum Dooley, Teen Vogue, "Little Women Dressing Is Already 2019's Biggest Trend," 14 Aug. 2019 Today, on set for her upcoming film, the reboot of the 2000 classic High Fidelity, the actress showed off an effortless alternative to 2019’s half-up ponies, instead recalling childhood hairstyles of yesteryear. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Zoë Kravitz Proves the Perennial Power of Pigtails in New York," 1 Aug. 2019 These architectural reminders of yesteryear are what stoked Italian photographer Carolina Sandretto’s interest in Cuban cinema culture. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian, "These Photographs Capture Cuba’s Fading Cinema Culture," 31 July 2019 For one weekend every July, the public can see remnants of yesteryear that Steve Bauer has amassed over three decades on his property, named Pioneer Village. Nick Ferraro, Twin Cities, "Little Log House Pioneer Village open this weekend near Hastings," 26 July 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near yesteryear





yes, thanks



Statistics for yesteryear

Last Updated

7 Sep 2019

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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 How to pronounce yesteryear (audio) \

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

Comments on yesteryear

What made you want to look up yesteryear? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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