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[af-ter-werd, ahf-] /ˈæf tər wərd, ˈɑf-/
at a later or subsequent time; subsequently.
Origin of afterward
before 1000; Middle English; Old English æfterweard, alteration (with -r- of æfter after) of æfteweard, equivalent to æfte-, æftan aft1 + -weard -ward
Can be confused
afterward, afterword. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for afterwards
  • It usually goes away eventually, but a few patients have diarrhea flare-ups for years afterwards.
  • The problem is that the bridge is often unusable afterwards.
  • Possessed individuals do the bidding of the spirits during a grueling, exhausting ordeal that they do not remember afterwards.
  • None of the relatives reported pain during the five-minute donation procedure, and none experienced any complications afterwards.
  • Thankfully he is provided with an extra uniform soon afterwards.
  • He torments himself for weeks afterwards and isolates himself from family and friends.
  • Actually students work for both employers and unions afterwards.
  • They had to be endured, but you felt better for it afterwards.
  • But it was worth it, a whole day up and down and a week of cold and coughing afterwards.
  • Ask them afterwards how the event made them feel and how long they felt it lasted.
British Dictionary definitions for afterwards


after an earlier event or time; subsequently
Word Origin
Old English æfterweard, æfteweard, from aft + ward
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for afterwards

c.1300, from afterward (q.v.) + adverbial genitive -s; originally a Northern form.



Old English æftanweard, from æftan "after" (see aft) + -weard suffix indicating direction (see -ward); nautical use as aftward, then expanded by influence of after; variant afterwards shows adverbial genitive.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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