[yes-ter-dey, -dee]


on the day preceding this day.
a short time ago: Yesterday your money went further.


the day preceding this day.
time in the immediate past.


belonging or pertaining to the day before or to a time in the immediate past: yesterday morning.

Nearby words

  1. yes/no question,
  2. yesenin,
  3. yeshiva,
  4. yester,
  5. yester-,
  6. yestereve,
  7. yesterevening,
  8. yestermorning,
  9. yestern,
  10. yesternight

Origin of yesterday

before 950; Middle English; Old English geostran dæg. See yester-, day

Related formsyes·ter·day·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for yesterday

British Dictionary definitions for yesterday



the day immediately preceding today
(often plural) the recent past


on or during the day before today
in the recent past
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

Word Origin and History for yesterday



Old English geostran dæg, from dæg "day" (see day) + geostran "yesterday," from Proto-Germanic *gestra- (cf. Old High German gestaron, German gestern "yesterday," Old Norse gær "tomorrow, yesterday," Gothic gistradagis "tomorrow"), originally "the other day" (reckoned from "today," either backward or forward), from PIE *ghes (cf. Sanskrit hyah, Avestan zyo, Persian di, Greek khthes, Latin heri, Old Irish indhe, Welsh doe "yesterday;" Latin hesternus "of yesterday").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with yesterday


see not born yesterday.

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