View synonyms for then


[ then ]


  1. at that time:

    Prices were lower then.

  2. immediately or soon afterward:

    The rain stopped and then started again.

  3. next in order of time:

    We ate, then we started home.

  4. at the same time:

    At first the water seemed blue, then gray.

  5. next in order of place:

    Standing beside Charlie is my uncle, then my cousin, then my brother.

  6. in addition; besides; also:

    I love my job, and then it pays so well.

  7. in that case; as a consequence; in those circumstances:

    If you're sick, then you should stay in bed.

  8. since that is so; as it appears; therefore:

    You have, then, found the mistake?

    You are leaving tonight then.


  1. being; being such; existing or being at the time indicated:

    the then prime minister.


  1. that time:

    We have not been back since then.

    Till then, farewell.


/ ðɛn /


  1. at that time; over that period of time
  2. sentence modifier in that case; that being so

    go on then, take it

    if he comes, then you'll have to leave

    then why don't you ask her?

  3. then and there
    See there

sentence connector

  1. after that; with that

    then John left the room and didn't return


  1. that time

    before then

    from then on


  1. prenominal existing, functioning, etc, at that time

    the then prime minister

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of then1

First recorded before 900; Middle English than(n)e, then(ne), Old English thonne, thanne, thænne; than; akin to that

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of then1

Old English thenne; related to Old Saxon, Old High German thanna; see than

Discover More

Idioms and Phrases

  1. but then, but on the other hand:

    I found their conversation very dull, but then I have different tastes.

  2. then and there, at that precise time and place; at once; on the spot: Also there and then.

    I started to pack my things right then and there.

More idioms and phrases containing then

  • and then some
  • every now and then

Discover More

Synonym Study

Discover More

Example Sentences

So then-President George H.W. Bush and other prominent Republicans endorsed Treen in the House runoff.

MIAMI — Fidel Castro seized power in January 1959 after waging a guerilla war against then-dictator Fulgencio Batista.

I gave statements to then-Captain Michael Sheffield on several different occasions.

The certification, which lasts three years, was renewed by then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in 2012.

We won an unprecedented pardon from then-President Karzai, and Gulnaz was freed.

England alone-then a comparatively weak and insignificant country-stood out against this overwhelming combination.

Do we not see that it is highly requisite that a sweet girl should be now-and-then drawn aside by him?

Have you now related all the conversation you had at that time with then-Vice President Johnson?

And what conversations, if any, did you have with then-Vice President Johnson?

Wouldst find the fair lady Fate chooses for you?Then search ye this line of wee pin-pricks clear through.


Related Words

Discover More

Then Vs. Than

What’s the difference between then and than?

Then is a very common word that’s used in situations involving what comes next—either in terms of time (as in Just then, the door opened or We saw a movie and then we drove home) or a result (as in If you forget to water the plants, then they will wilt). Than is a very common word used in comparisons, as in She’s a little older than you or This hot sauce is a lot spicier than that one.

Grammatically speaking, then is used as an adverb or adjective, while than is used as a conjunction or preposition.

Perhaps the most common way the two words are confused is when then is used when it should be than, but doing the reverse is also a common mistake.

One way to tell if you’re using the right word is to remember that then is usually used to indicate what comes next, and then and next are both spelled with the letter e.

Here’s an example of then and than used correctly in the same sentence.

Example: If you want to be an expert, then you’ll need more experience than you have now.

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between then and than.

Quiz yourself on then vs. than!

Should then or than be used in the following sentence?

I went to the grocery store, _____ the dry cleaners.

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




Murders in the Rue Morgue, Thethen again