- before the present time; formerly.
Origin of erst
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for erst
The Master said, Erst the cold days show how fir and cypress are last to fade.The Sayings Of Confucius
It was thus my cousin Surrey's life was saved that was erst a weakling.'Privy Seal
Ford Madox Ford
The phrase is confined to AR and its group; elsewhere at erst is used.
Who shall say that hallelujahs shall not yet tremble on the lips where erst were curses?Rose Clark
And the child lulled the parent, as the parent had erst lulled the child.Shirley
- long ago; formerly
- at first
Old English ǣrest earliest, superlative of ǣr early; see ere; related to Old High German ērist, Dutch eerst
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