erstwhile

[ urst-hwahyl, -wahyl ]
/ ˈɜrstˌʰwaɪl, -ˌwaɪl /

adjective

former; of times past: erstwhile friends.

adverb

Archaic. formerly; erst.

Nearby words

Origin of erstwhile

First recorded in 1560–70; erst + while
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for erstwhile

British Dictionary definitions for erstwhile

erstwhile

/ (ˈɜːstˌwaɪl) /

adjective

former; one-timemy erstwhile companions

adverb

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

Word Origin and History for erstwhile

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