American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Having once been; former: the whilom editor in chief.
- adv. Archaic At a past time; formerly.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- At times; by times.
- Once; formerly; once upon a time.
- adv. obsolete While.
- adv. dated Once upon a time, formerly.
- adj. now literary Former; sometime, late.
- conj. While.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adv. Obs. or Poetic Formerly; once; of old; erewhile; at times.
- Old English hwīlum, dative plural of hwīl ‘while’. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, at times, from Old English hwīlum, dative pl. of hwīl, time, while; see kweiə- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“On reaching the Place de la Révolution, her looks turned towards the Jardin National, whilom Tuileries; her face at that moment gave signs of lively emotion.”
“Excuse me therefore, dear Sir, that I cannot accept your invitation to the Liverpool Musical Festival, inasmuch as I cannot in any way think of wearying the public with my "whilom" piano-playing.”
“The choice of phrases in Ballads and Songs, and perhaps more in serious pieces, is of much importance; a common use of old worn out words I do not like, such as erst, whilom, and a thousand more; and yet to take up and use”
“On one shoulder was fixed the painted figure of an owl; and he bore in the right hand his pastoral staff, and in the left a small mirror having a handle to it, thus resembling a celebrated jester, whose adventures, translated into English, were whilom extremely popular, and which may still be procured in black letter, for about one sterling pound per leaf.”
“Did not thy father's friends and whilom guests assist thee?”
“Nay, 'tis that we-and this is most important-may dwell in comfort, instead of suffering want (for well I know that every whilom friend avoids the poor), and that I might rear my sons as doth befit my house; further, that I might be the father of brothers for the children thou hast borne, and raise these to the same high rank, uniting the family in one, - to my lasting bliss.”
“Paradise enow moratorium nub aural whilom incessantly heliograph”
“Quoth I, ‘I was thinking of the whilom owner of this house, for he was my intimate in his lifetime.’”
“Thou didst as whilom many a doer like thee hath done”
“When I had spoken, she took a cup and filled it with water: then she recited a spell over it and sprinkled it upon the calf, saying, If Almighty Allah created thee a calf, remain so shaped, and change not; but if thou be enchanted, return to thy whilom form, by command of Allah Most”
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