from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adv. Archaic Erstwhile.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. First.
- adv. First of all, before (some other specified thing).
- adv. Sooner (than); before.
- adv. Formerly, once, erstwhile.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adv. First.
- adv. Previously; before; formerly; heretofore.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- First; at first; at the beginning.
- Once; formerly; long ago.
- Before; till then or now; hitherto.
- At length, at present: especially with now (now at erst).
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adv. at a previous time
Middle English erest, from Old English ǣrest; see ayer- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English erste, from Old English ǣresta ("first"), from Proto-Germanic *airistaz (“earliest, first”), equivalent to ere + -est. Cognate with North Frisian eerst, ærst ("first"), West Frisian earst ("first"), Dutch eerste ("first"), German erste ("first"). (Wiktionary)
From Middle English erst, arst, erest, from Old English ǣrest ("first, erst, at first, before all"), from Proto-Germanic *airist (“erst”). Cognate with Scots erst ("erst"), Dutch eerst. (Wiktionary)