- on only a few occasions; rarely; infrequently; not often: We seldom see our old neighbors anymore.
- rare; infrequent.
Origin of seldom
Examples from the Web for seldom
And yet, even while seldom leaving the capital, they offer a perspective on the city that tilts toward distortion.Heart of Darkness: Into Afghanistan’s Taliban Valley
Matt Trevithick, Daniel Seckman
November 15, 2014
For one thing, they seldom had it, and for another thing they all believed that having it would set up a temptation to spend it.The Stacks: H.L. Mencken on the 1904 Baltimore Fire
October 4, 2014
“International glory is something we seldom taste except in one area: the beauty of our women,” she writes.Venezuela Now Has Toilet Paper but No Breast Implants
September 16, 2014
Similarly, Rand Paul is seldom discussed without a mention of Ron Paul, and vice versa.Rand Paul’s Daddy Issues
July 28, 2014
The best player was Manuel Neuer, Germany’s goalkeeper, but ‘keepers are seldom lauded in this way.Germany Wins, World Cup Justice Is Served
July 13, 2014
He seldom speaks; but when he does, you are ever in his visions.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
He was a farmer's son, and seldom had any money in his possession.Brave and Bold
Uncle Brunton noticed the change; for to those who saw him seldom the change was sudden.Life in London
Wiseli's eyes shone with satisfaction as they seldom did nowadays.Rico and Wiseli
The term "gentleman" has seldom been used in this sense subsequently to the Revolution.A Book of Autographs
- not often; rarely
Word Origin and History for seldom
late Old English seldum, alteration of seldan "seldom, rarely," from Proto-Germanic *selda- "strange, rare" (cf. Old Norse sjaldan, Old Frisian selden, Dutch zelden, Old High German seltan, German selten), perhaps ultimately from the base of self (q.v.).
Form shifted on analogy of adverbial dative plurals in -um (e.g. whilom "at one time," from while). The same development also created litlum from little, miclum from mickle. German seltsam "strange, odd," Dutch zeldzaam are related, but with the second element conformed to their versions of -some.
Seldom-times is from mid-15c. (Old English had seldhwanne "seldwhen"). Seldom-seen is from mid-15c. (Old English had seldsiene, "seld-seen").
Some compounds using the old form survived through Middle English, e.g. selcouth"rarely or little-known, unusual, strange, wonderful," from Old English selcuð, seld-cuð, from seldan + cuð (see couth). Old English seldan had comparative seldor, superlative seldost; in early Middle English, as seldan changed form and lost its connection with these, selde was formed as a positive. Shakespeare uses seld-shown.