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erstwhile

[urst-hwahyl, -wahyl] /ˈɜrstˌʰwaɪl, -ˌwaɪl/
adjective
1.
former; of times past:
erstwhile friends.
adverb
2.
Archaic. formerly; erst.
Origin of erstwhile
1560-1570
First recorded in 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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for erstwhile
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was beset on either side by the merciless fangs of his erstwhile comrades.

    White Fang Jack London
  • It was pitiful to see the erstwhile Whittaker majority melt away.

    Cy Whittaker's Place Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Mr. Hungerford and his erstwhile chum did not speak to each other at all now.

    Cap'n Dan's Daughter Joseph C. Lincoln
  • That erstwhile habit of Sakr-el-Bahr's was one not easy to condone.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • Among them I recognized with a start my erstwhile guard, Holaf, of the Zervs.

    Valley of the Croen Lee Tarbell
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
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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
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Word Value for erstwhile

15
15
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