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From Latin hesternus (of or pertaining to yesterday; yesterday’s) + English -al (suffix forming adjectives).[1] Hesternus is derived from herī (yesterday) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *dʰǵʰyés (yesterday)) + -ter (suffix forming adverbs) + -nus (suffix forming nouns).



hesternal (not comparable)

  1. (archaic or literary, rare outside grammar) Of or pertaining to yesterday.
    Synonym: (obsolete) hestern
    • 1795, Aulus Persius Flaccus, “Satire III”, in M[artin] Madan, transl., A New and Literal Translation of the Satires of Aulus Persius Flaccus, Dublin: [] John Exshaw, [], OCLC 1170691270, page 93:
      [A]t laſt, this happy fellow, on a high / Bed laid, and dawbed over with thick ointments, / Extends his rigid heels towards the door; but him / The heſternal Romans, with cover'd head, ſuſtained.
      Footnote 106: “When a perſon of conſequence died, all the ſlaves which he had made free in his life-time attended the funeral; ſome bore the corpſe [...] Theſe, being freedmen, were reckoned among the Roman citizens; but they were looked on in a mean light, and were contemptuouſly called heſterni, Romans of yeſterday—i.e. citizens whoſe dignity was of very ſhort ſtanding.”
    • 1813, Eaton Stannard Barrett, “Letter X”, in The Heroine, or Adventures of a Fair Romance Reader, [...] In Three Volumes, volume I, London: [] Henry Colburn, [], OCLC 6651570, pages 118–119:
      But notwithstanding my cupidity for such dainties, I have that happy adaptation of taste which can banquet, with delight, upon hesternal offals; can nibble ignominious radishes, or masticate superannuated mutton.
    • 1814 April 19, Lord Byron [George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron], “Journal, 1814”, in Thomas Moore, editor, Letters and Journals of Lord Byron: [] In Two Volumes, volume I, London: John Murray, [], published 1830, OCLC 557734263, page 514:
      I will keep no further journal of that same hesternal torch‐light; and, to prevent me from returning, like a dog, to the vomit of memory, I tear out the remaining leaves of this volume, and write, in Ipecacuanha,—'that the Bourbons are restored!!!' 'Hang up philosophy.'
    • 1828, [Edward Bulwer-Lytton], chapter XX, in Pelham; or, The Adventures of a Gentleman. [...] In Three Volumes, volume II, London: Henry Colburn, [], OCLC 729841413, page 196:
      I rose by candle-light, and consumed, in the intensest application, the hours which every other individual of our party wasted in enervating slumbers, from the hesternal dissipation or debauch.
    • [1965], “A Learner’s Synopsis of Kirundi Structure”, in Earl W[ilson] Stevick, editor, Kirundi: Basic Course [], Washington, D.C.: Foreign Service Institute, Department of State, OCLC 878011, page xxxii:
      The hesternal or 'yesterday', tense differs from the hodiernal in having a tone on the subject prefix.
    • 1994, Joan [Lea] Bybee; Revere [Dale] Perkins; William Pagliuca, “Anterior, Perfective, and Related Senses”, in The Evolution of Grammar: Tense, Aspect, and Modality in the Languages of the World, Chicago, Ill.; London: University of Chicago Press, →ISBN, section 3.16 (Degrees of Remoteness), page 98:
      We use the following meaning labels to characterize remoteness distinctions: [...] Hesternal past: the situation occurred yesterday, or on the day preceding the speech event. / Pre-hesternal past: the situation occured before yesterday.
    • 2008, Mark L. O. Van de Velde, “Tense, Aspect, Mood and Negation”, in A Grammar of Eton (Mouton Grammar Library; 46), Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, Walter de Gruyter, →ISBN, ISSN 0933-7636, section 2.1.1 (Tense), page 234:
      Now that it is clear that hodiernal past, hesternal past and remote past are purely temporal categories, it must be established how exactly they divide the timeline. The difference between hodiernal and hesternal past is rigid and is based on objective grounds, i.e. on actual time rather than perceived temporal distance. The hodiernal past is used only for situations that occurred on the same day as the temporal reference point. The choice between hesternal past and remote past is more subjective. No temporal cut-off point between them can be established.
    • 2015 December, David Odden, “Bantu Phonology”, in Oxford Handbooks Online[1], Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, DOI:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199935345.013.59, archived from the original on 26 June 2020, section 4.3 (Melodic Tones):
      In apparently all tonal Bantu languages, the tonal system is augmented by tone patterns associated with certain grammatical categories, especially verb tenses, which are usually realized as the positioning of additional tones in some position in the stem. These are referred to as melodic H patterns. [...] In the simple past and hesternal past (58b) [in Kerewe], H is added to the final vowel, and that H causes deletion of preceding Hs.

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  1. ^ hesternal, adj.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1898.

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