at that time: Prices were lower then.
immediately or soon afterward: The rain stopped and then started again.
next in order of time: We ate, then we started home.
at the same time: At first the water seemed blue, then gray.
next in order of place: Standing beside Charlie is my uncle, then my cousin, then my brother.
in addition; besides; also: I love my job, and then it pays so well.
in that case; as a consequence; in those circumstances: If you're sick, then you should stay in bed.
since that is so; as it appears; therefore: You have, then, found the mistake? You are leaving tonight then.
being; being such; existing or being at the time indicated: the then prime minister.
that time: We have not been back since then. Till then, farewell.
but then, but on the other hand: I found their conversation very dull, but then I have different tastes.
then and there, at that precise time and place; at once; on the spot: I started to pack my things right then and there. Also, there and then.

before 900; Middle English then(ne), than(n)e, Old English thonne, thanne, thænne; cf. than; akin to that

than, then (see usage note at than).

8. See therefore. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To then
World English Dictionary
then (ðɛn)
1.  at that time; over that period of time
2.  (sentence modifier) in that case; that being so: then why don't you ask her?; if he comes, then you'll have to leave; go on then, take it
3.  then and there See there
sentence connector
4.  after that; with that: then John left the room and didn't return
5.  that time: before then; from then on
6.  (prenominal) existing, functioning, etc, at that time: the then prime minister
[Old English thenne; related to Old Saxon, Old High German thanna; see than]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

adverb of time, from O.E. þanne, þænne, þonne, from P.Gmc. *thana- (cf. O.Fris. thenne, O.S. thanna, Du. dan, O.H.G. danne, Ger. dann), from PIE demonstrative pronoun root *to- (see the). For further sense development, see
than. Similar evolutions in other Gmc. languages; Du. uses dan in both senses, but Ger. has dann (adv.) "then," denn (conj.) "than." Now and then "at various times" is attested from c.1550; earlier then and then (c.1200).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idioms beginning with then, also see and then some; every now and then.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Set a cookie or biscuit cutter in a medium bowl, then set mold on top.
Repeat on remaining two sides, then staple all around the edges, pulling cloth
There are fixer-uppers, and then there are complete wrecks.
Our staff photographer loads these pocket-size drives with pics from the year,
  then sends them to friends and family.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature