other day, the

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One day recently, a short time ago, as in I saw her in the museum the other day. This term originally meant either “the next day” or “the preceding day” (tomorrow or yesterday). In its current meaning it was first recorded in 1421.

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Other Idioms and Phrases with other day, the (2 of 2)

the other day

see other day.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.


What does the other day mean?

The other day is a phrase that means the recent past or a day that occurred close to the present day, as in I was walking my dog the other day when I saw a bald eagle. 

Often, the other day is used to refer to the recent past in general, especially when a person can’t remember exactly when something happened. Generally, the other day is used to refer to moments in time that began at least two days ago, because the word yesterday is used to refer to the day before the current one.

Because it is so general, the other day can often be substituted for similar phrases such as a few days ago or recently.

Example: There was a minor earthquake while I was at Becky’s house the other day.

Where does the other day come from?

The first records of the phrase the other day comes from around 1451. The word other is used  in the sense of “different from something else,” and the word day is used in the sense of the 24-hour period the Earth takes (on average) to rotate around its axis. The other day refers to a day in the recent past.

The other day is not commonly used in formal speech and writing. Newspapers and other texts that use formal language are much more likely to name a specific day or give specific dates. Even if they don’t, alternatives such as some time ago or recently are much more likely to be used than the other day.

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What are some synonyms for the other day?

What are some words that share a root or word element with the other day

What are some words that often get used in discussing the other day?

How is the other day used in real life?

The other day is a very common phrase that people use to refer generally to the recent past.


Try using the other day!

Which of the following is NOT a synonym of the other day?

A. recently
B. not long ago
C. tomorrow
D. a few days ago

How to use other day, the in a sentence