[ sel-duhm ]
/ ˈsɛl dəm /


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


rare; infrequent.

Origin of seldom

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


sel·dom·ness, noun

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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for seldom

British Dictionary definitions for seldom

/ (ˈsɛldəm) /


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