seldom

[ sel-duhm ]
/ ˈsɛl dəm /

adverb

on only a few occasions; rarely; infrequently; not often: We seldom see our old neighbors anymore.

adjective

rare; infrequent.

QUIZZES

BEAT THE DOLDRUMS WITH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!

We know you’ll tackle this quiz totis viribus! See how many words from the week of Oct 12–18, 2020 you get right!
Question 1 of 7
What does “Indigenous” mean?

Origin of seldom

First recorded before 900; Middle English; Old English seldum, variant of seldan; cognate with German selten, Gothic silda-

historical usage of seldom

The adverb seldom has several spellings in Old English, among them seldan, seldon, seldun, and seldum. The last form is an innovation modeled on the dative plurals of nouns used as adverbs, for example Old English hwīlum “at times, sometimes,” the source of the archaic English whilom, from the noun hwīl “a space of time, an indefinite time, a while.” Old English seldan (but not the spelling seldum ) corresponds to Old Frisian sielden, Middle Low German and Middle Dutch selden, and German selten.

OTHER WORDS FROM seldom

sel·dom·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for seldom

British Dictionary definitions for seldom

seldom
/ (ˈsɛldəm) /

adverb

not often; rarely

Word Origin for seldom

Old English seldon; related to Old Norse sjāldan, Old High German seltan
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