follow Dictionary.com

Hone in vs. home in? What's the difference?

erstwhile

[urst-hwahyl, -wahyl] /ˈɜrstˌʰwaɪl, -ˌwaɪl/
adjective
1.
former; of times past:
erstwhile friends.
adverb
2.
Archaic. formerly; erst.
Origin of erstwhile
1560-1570
1560-70; erst + while
Synonyms
1. past, bygone, previous.
Antonyms
1. current, present.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for erstwhile
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Slowly, the modern masses are learning to emulate their erstwhile masters in the art of eating.

  • He was beset on either side by the merciless fangs of his erstwhile comrades.

    White Fang Jack London
  • "Good morning, my erstwhile passengers and new colonists," he said.

    A Pilgrim Maid Marion Ames Taggart
  • It was pitiful to see the erstwhile Whittaker majority melt away.

    Cy Whittaker's Place Joseph C. Lincoln
  • It was an inspiration to see what God had wrought among these erstwhile heathen.

    South and South Central Africa H. Frances Davidson
British Dictionary definitions for erstwhile

erstwhile

/ˈɜːstˌwaɪl/
adjective
1.
former; one-time: my erstwhile companions
adverb
2.
(archaic) long ago; formerly
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for erstwhile
adv.

1560s, from Middle English erest "soonest, earliest," from Old English ærest, superlative of ær (see ere) + while. As an adjective from 1903. Cognate with Old Saxon and Old High German erist, German erst.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for erstwhile

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for erstwhile

15
15
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for erstwhile