Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. Archaic Soon afterward; presently.
  • adv. Archaic Once again.

Etymologies

From Middle English eftsone, from Old English eftsōna : eft, again; see apo- in Indo-European roots + sōna, soon.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From eft (“again, after”) +‎ soon +‎ -s (“adverb suffix”) – both senses (“soon after”, “again”) derive from senses of eft, which is related to after. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Whereat she was little dismayed, but charged them, upon danger of their lives, to row her over to the shore, which they nothing regarded, but eftsoons rowed her back again, promising her it should be secreted, and especially from the lord of the house, under whose guard she lyeth.

    The Abbot

  • Italy, as a traveller observes, if a man have three or four daughters, or more, and they prove fair, they are married eftsoons: if deformed, they change their lovely names of Lucia, Cynthia,

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • Jupiter eftsoons coming by, put life to it, but Cura and Jupiter could not agree what name to give him, or who should own him; the matter was referred to Saturn as judge; he gave this arbitrement: his name shall be Homo ab humo, Cura eum possideat quamdiu vivat, Care shall have him whilst he lives, Jupiter his soul, and Tellus his body when he dies.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • Leucothoe, till he came in presence of Milaene, she was the commandress of his heart, till he saw Galatea: but (as [5693] she complains) he loved another eftsoons, another, and another.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • Ut non sit inde enatandi copia, no halcyonian times, wherein a man can hold himself secure, or agree with his present estate; but as Boethius infers, [1760] there is something in every one of us which before trial we seek, and having tried abhor: [1761] we earnestly wish, and eagerly covet, and are eftsoons weary of it.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • And as in like case a good fellow that had but a peck of corn weekly to grind, yet would needs build a new mill for it, found his error eftsoons, for either he must let his mill lie waste, pull it quite down, or let others grind at it.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • Well POGO, GEO and Dr Haymet, we could give you one of those gains right speedy or eftsoons.

    Better ocean monitoring 'vital': POGO we can help.

  • In any case, do not complain, “It is gross folly, and a vile Sign of a wayward and forward disposition, to be eftsoons complaining of this, or that, to small purpose”.

    The Common Reader, Second Series

  • And when they have eaten, the monk smiteth eftsoons on the garden gate with the clicket, and then anon all the beasts return again to their places that they come from.

    The Travels of Sir John Mandeville

  • Which hearing young Stephen was a marvellous glad man and he averred that he who stealeth from the poor lendeth to the Lord for he was of a wild manner when he was drunken and that he was now in that taking it appeared eftsoons.

    Ulysses

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Comments

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  • eftsoons ... forefast (prefix) eft + soon + s.

    eft- = re-, again, after

    November 2, 2011

  • Beautiful word! I remember it from Coleridge's Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner:

    He holds him with his skinny hand,
    "There was a ship," quoth he.
    "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"
    Eftsoons his hand dropt he.

    December 19, 2007

  • "Which hearing young Stephen was a marvellous glad man and he averred that he who stealeth from the poor lendeth to the Lord for he was of a wild manner when he was drunken and that he was now in that taking it appeared eftsoons."
    Joyce, Ulysses, 14

    January 20, 2007