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A.Word.A.Day--whilom

Pronunciation RealAudio

whilom (HWI-luhm) adjective

Former.

adverb

Formerly.

[From Middle English, from Old English hwilum (at times), plural of hwil (time).]

Here is another unusual word that is a synonym of this word: quondam.

"With obvious agreement, he quotes the whilom CEO of RJR Nabisco, Ross Johnson, whose three rules of Wall Street are, 'Never play by the rules, never pay in cash, and never tell the truth.'" Jonathan Yardley; The Root Of All Evil; The Washington Post; Oct 6, 1991.

"The moonflower tree lofted luminous ghostly vespertine blooms, evening-glories of such prodigious perfume -- as to totally eclipse memory of the whilom little-leaved corporate ficus." Patti Hagan; Moonstruck: A Gardener's Lunar Awakening; The Wall Street Journal (New York); Aug 23, 1994. (vespertine: occurring in the evening.)

This week's theme: words derived from Old English.

X-Bonus

Often war is waged only in order to show valor; thus an inner dignity is ascribed to war itself, and even some philosophers have praised it as an ennoblement of humanity, forgetting the pronouncement of the Greek who said, "War is an evil in as much as it produces more wicked men than it takes away." -Immanuel Kant, philosopher (1724-1804)

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