From Middle English sumtymes, somtymes, som tymes, equivalent to sometime + -s (adverbial suffix). Compare West Frisian somtiden (“sometimes”), Dutch somtijds (“sometimes”), Danish sommetider (“sometimes”).
sometimes (not comparable)
- On certain occasions, or in certain circumstances, but not always. [from 16th c.]
- Sometimes I sit and think, but mostly I just sit.
- a. 1667, Jeremy Taylor, “Agenda; or, Things to Be Done”, in The Whole Works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor, D.D., volume III, London: Frederick Westley and A. H. Davis, published 1836, page 730:
- It is good that we sometimes be contradicted, and ill though of, and that we always bear it well, even when we deserve to be well spoken of : perfect peace and security cannot be had in this world.
- 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 5, in The Celebrity:
- We made an odd party before the arrival of the Ten, particularly when the Celebrity dropped in for lunch or dinner. He could not be induced to remain permanently at Mohair because Miss Trevor was at Asquith, but he appropriated a Hempstead cart from the Mohair stables and made the trip sometimes twice in a day.
- 2013 June 8, “Obama goes troll-hunting”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8839, page 55:
- The solitary, lumbering trolls of Scandinavian mythology would sometimes be turned to stone by exposure to sunlight. Barack Obama is hoping that several measures announced on June 4th will have a similarly paralysing effect on their modern incarnation, the patent troll.
- (obsolete) On a certain occasion in the past; once. [16th-17th c.]
- c. 1599–1602, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene i], lines 46–49, page 152, column 2:
- What art thou that vſurp’ſt this time of night, / Together with that Faire and Warlike forme / In which the Maieſty of buried Denmarke / Did ſometimes march : By Heauen I charge thee ſpeake.
- 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], “Remedies against diſcontents”, in The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy, 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970, partition 2, section 3, member 7, page 351:
- They detract, ſcoffe and raile ſaith one, & barke at mee on every ſide, but I, like that Albanian dog ſometimes given to Alexander for a preſent, vindico me ab illis ſolo contemptu, I ly ſtill and ſleep, vindicate my ſelfe by contempt alone.
- (on certain occasions): at one time or another, at times, every so often, from time to time, occasionally, once in a while
sometimes (not comparable)