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Webster 1913 Edition


Yesterday

Yes′ter-day

,
Noun.
[OE.
ȝisterdai
, AS.
geostran dæg
, from
geostran
,
geostra
,
giestran
,
gistran
,
gystran
, yesterday (akin to D.
gisteren
, G.
gestern
, OHG.
gestaron
, Icel.
gær
yesterday, to-morrow, Goth.
gistradagis
to-morrow, L.
heri
yesterday, Gr. [GREEK], Skr.
hyas
) +
dæg
day. Cf.
Hestern
. [GREEK][GREEK][GREEK][GREEK].]
1.
The day last past; the day next before the present.
All our
yesterdays
have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.
Shakespeare
We are but of
yesterday
, and know nothing.
Job viii. 9.
2.
Fig.: A recent time; time not long past.
The proudest royal houses are but of
yesterday
, when compared with the line of supreme pontiffs.
Macaulay.

Yes′ter-day

,
adv.
On the day last past; on the day preceding to-day;
as, the affair took place
yesterday
.

Webster 1828 Edition


Yesterday

YESTERDAY

,
Noun.
[See Yester.]
1.
The day last past; the day next before the present.
All our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death.
We are but of yesterday, and know nothing. Job 8.
2.
Yesterday is used generally without a preposition; as, I went to town yesterday. Yesterday we received letters from our friends. In this ease, a preposition is understood; as on yesterday, or during yesterday. The word may be considered as adverbially used.

Definition 2022


yesterday

yesterday

English

Noun

yesterday (plural yesterdays)

  1. The day immediately before today; one day ago.
    Today is the child of yesterday and the parent of tomorrow.
    Yesterday was rainy, but by this morning it had begun to snow.
    • 1899, Hughes Mearns, Antigonish:
      Yesterday, upon the stair / I met a man who wasn’t there / He wasn’t there again today / I wish, I wish he’d go away 
  2. The (recent) past, often disparaging.
    yesterday's technology
    • 1606 William Shakespeare, Macbeth, 5.5
      All our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death.
    • 2013 June 22, Snakes and ladders”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8841, page 76:
      Risk is everywhere. From tabloid headlines insisting that coffee causes cancer (yesterday, of course, it cured it) to stern government warnings about alcohol and driving, the world is teeming with goblins. For each one there is a frighteningly precise measurement of just how likely it is to jump from the shadows and get you.

Usage notes

  • The term yesterdays is unusual and often poetic for the recent past, e.g. "all our yesterdays have come back to haunt us."

Derived terms

Translations

Adverb

yesterday (not comparable)

  1. On the day before today
    I started to watch the video yesterday, but could only finish it this evening.
  2. As soon as possible
    I want this done yesterday!

Synonyms

  • the last day (Ireland)

Antonyms

Related terms

Translations

See also