Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adverb Erstwhile.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • First.
  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adverb First.
  • adverb Previously; before; formerly; heretofore.
  • adverb at first; at the beginning.
  • adverb at this present time.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective obsolete First.
  • adverb obsolete First of all, before (some other specified thing).
  • adverb obsolete Sooner (than); before.
  • adverb archaic, poetic Formerly, once, erstwhile.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adverb at a previous time

Etymologies

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

[Middle English erest, from Old English ǣrest; see ayer- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

Examples

  • 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

    Letter 94

  • Daran musste ich mich erst einmal gewöhnen, süsses Brot mit saurem Belag zu essen.

    Bento #224 « Were rabbits

  • Clark Hoyt, the erst arbiter of the Times' perceived wrongs, reminded one more of a stern, Catholic school nun when he publicly rapped Cintra's knuckles for doing what she was hired to do: generate interest.

    Andrew Blackmore-Dobbyn: How Cintra Wilson Made Me Care About Fashion Again

  • If everyone who reads this blog wrote a short email of support for F&F and a note to the Saltz too, I think that might help sway the erst while wavering Saltzman.

    Fish and Fritz -- finally, somebody down there gets it (Jack Bog's Blog)

  • Er verkündete “Bankferien”: Alle Kreditinstitute wurden für vier Tage geschlossen; danach durften die meisten von ihnen wieder öffnen, aber erst, nachdem Experten der Regierung die Bücher geprüft und die jeweilige Bank für überlebensfähig erklärt hatten.

    Wonk Room » Stress Tests Results In And Taxpayers Are Staying On The Hook

  • Ich lese auch fast ausschließlich englische Bücher, was sowohl an einigen Übersetzungen liegt, aber auch daran, dass viele gute Bücher von englischsprachigen Autoren gar nicht oder erst sehr spät übersetzt werden.

    Guest Author: Michelle Raven

  • Clark Hoyt, the erst arbiter of the Times' perceived wrongs, reminded one more of a stern, Catholic school nun when he publicly rapped Cintra's knuckles for doing what she was hired to do: generate interest.

    Andrew Blackmore-Dobbyn: How Cintra Wilson Made Me Care About Fashion Again

  • Hallo Michaela, ich habe deine Bücher erst vor Kurzem für mich entdeckt und freu mich schon sehr auf "Die Spur der Katze".

    Guest Author: Michelle Raven

  • Note 65: "Sy hielt iren orden an allen dingen als volkumenlich als wir ie dekain schwester sachent tün; sy was vil die erst in dem kor und hielt sich da mit grossem fliss an naigen, an ston, und das sy gar endlich sang alles das sy kund, wie sy doch nit wol sang."

    Sensual Encounters: Monastic Women and Spirituality in Medieval Germany

  • Ich gab Boyes Schilderung wieder, wie sie sich hatte betören lassen dem Mann mit dem bleichen Hysterikergesicht auf der Tribüne in der überfüllten Sporthalle, und wie sie zu spät erst das Ruchlose seiner Reden begriffen habe.

    Archive 2010-09-01

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  • A swarm of bees

    November 16, 2007