immemorial

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See also: immémorial

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French immémorial

Adjective[edit]

immemorial

  1. (postpositive) That is beyond memory; ancient.
    The rocks had stood overlooking the valley since time immemorial.
    • 1870, Disraeli, Benjamin, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, Lothair:
      My home is in the North of Palestine on the other side of Jordan, beyond the Sea of Galilee. My family has dwelt there from time immemorial; but they always loved this city, and have a legend that they dwelt occasionally within its walls, even in the days when Titus from that hill looked down upon the female.
  2. (positive) Ancient beyond memory.
    The immemorial existence of a port on the spot would shew such a possible good legal origin as would support the immemorial custom.
    • 1868, Bulwer, James Redfoord Q.C., editor, The Law Reports. Court of Common Pleas., volume 3:
      ...the fact of the immemorial taking of the toll, though it would be rightful in its origin if the spot was in a port, and wrongful if it was not in a port, did not of itself afford sufficient ground for inferring that the spot was an antient port, or that such special services were rendered, either by express stipulation in some lost grant, or by immemorial usage, as would support such a grant or custom.
    • 1895, H. G. Wells, chapter X, in The Time Machine:
      Now, I still think that for this box of matches to have escaped the wear of time for immemorial years was a strange, and for me, a most fortunate thing.

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