- at that time: Prices were lower then.
- immediately or soon afterward: The rain stopped and then started again.
- next in order of time: We ate, then we started home.
- at the same time: At first the water seemed blue, then gray.
- next in order of place: Standing beside Charlie is my uncle, then my cousin, then my brother.
- in addition; besides; also: I love my job, and then it pays so well.
- in that case; as a consequence; in those circumstances: If you're sick, then you should stay in bed.
- since that is so; as it appears; therefore: You have, then, found the mistake? You are leaving tonight then.
- being; being such; existing or being at the time indicated: the then prime minister.
- that time: We have not been back since then. Till then, farewell.
- but then, but on the other hand: I found their conversation very dull, but then I have different tastes.
- then and there, at that precise time and place; at once; on the spot: I started to pack my things right then and there.Also there and then.
Origin of then
- at that time; over that period of time
- (sentence modifier) in that case; that being sothen why don't you ask her?; if he comes, then you'll have to leave; go on then, take it
- then and there See there (def. 6)
- after that; with thatthen John left the room and didn't return
- that timebefore then; from then on
- (prenominal) existing, functioning, etc, at that timethe then prime minister
Word Origin and History for then
adverb of time, from Old English þanne, þænne, þonne, from Proto-Germanic *thana- (cf. Old Frisian thenne, Old Saxon thanna, Dutch dan, Old High German danne, German dann), from PIE demonstrative pronoun root *to- (see the). For further sense development, see than. Similar evolutions in other Germanic languages; Dutch uses dan in both senses, but German has dann (adv.) "then," denn (conj.) "than." Now and then "at various times" is attested from 1550s; earlier then and then (c.1200).
Idioms and Phrases with then
In addition to the idioms beginning with then
- then again
- then and there
- and then some
- every now and then