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time immemorial

Also called time out of mind. time in the distant past beyond memory or record:
Those carvings have been there from time immemorial.
Law. time beyond legal memory, fixed by statute in England as prior to the beginning of the reign of Richard I (1189).
Origin of time immemorial
First recorded in 1595-1605 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for time immemorial
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • As from time immemorial, she has done upon the Swiss in their mountains.

    Albert Durer T. Sturge Moore
  • Such have been the customs of the Orient, from time immemorial, and are today.

  • Inns have, from time immemorial, been the scenes of romances and tragedies and crimes.

    Browning's England Helen Archibald Clarke
  • Even when I first met her, she seemed to have been mine from time immemorial.

    Artists' Wives Alphonse Daudet
  • They have consequently, from time immemorial, been inhabited by a dense population.

    Rollo on the Rhine

    Jacob Abbott
British Dictionary definitions for time immemorial

time immemorial

the distant past beyond memory or record
(law) time beyond legal memory, fixed by English statute as before the reign of Richard I (1189)
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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Idioms and Phrases with time immemorial

time immemorial

Also,time out of mind. Long ago, beyond memory or recall, as in These ruins have stood here since time immemorial, or His office has been on Madison Avenue for time out of mind. The first expression comes from English law, where it signifies “beyond legal memory,” specifically before the reign of Richard I (1189–1199), fixed as the legal limit for bringing certain kinds of lawsuit. By about 1600 it was broadened to its present sense of “a very long time ago.” The variant, first recorded in 1432, uses mind in the sense of “memory” or “recall.”
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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