then

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English then(ne), than(ne), from Old English þonne, þanne, þænne (then, at that time), from Proto-Germanic *þan-, *þana- (at that (time), then), from Proto-Indo-European *to- (demonstrative pronoun). Cognate with Dutch dan (then), German dann (then), Icelandic þá (then). Related to than.

Adverb[edit]

then (not comparable)

  1. (temporal location) At that time.
    He was happy then.
    • Bible, Genesis xii. 6
      And the Canaanite was then in the land.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 1, The Celebrity:
      In the old days, to my commonplace and unobserving mind, he gave no evidences of genius whatsoever. He never read me any of his manuscripts, […], and therefore my lack of detection of his promise may in some degree be pardoned. But he had then none of the oddities and mannerisms which I hold to be inseparable from genius, and which struck my attention in after days when I came in contact with the Celebrity.
  2. (temporal location) Soon afterward.
    He fixed it, then left.
    Turn left, then right, then right again, then keep going until you reach the service station.
    • Bible, Matthew v. 24
      First be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Then there came a reg'lar terror of a sou'wester same as you don't get one summer in a thousand, and blowed the shanty flat and ripped about half of the weir poles out of the sand. We spent consider'ble money getting 'em reset, and then a swordfish got into the pound and tore the nets all to slathers, right in the middle of the squiteague season.
  3. (sequence) Next in order; in addition.
    There are three green ones, then a blue one.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 5, The Celebrity:
      Then came a maid with hand-bag and shawls, and after her a tall young lady. She stood for a moment holding her skirt above the grimy steps, with something of the stately pose which Richter has given his Queen Louise on the stairway, and the light of the reflector fell full upon her.
    • 2013 July 19, Peter Wilby, “Finland spreads word on schools”, The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 6, page 30: 
      Imagine a country where children do nothing but play until they start compulsory schooling at age seven. Then, without exception, they attend comprehensives until the age of 16. Charging school fees is illegal, and so is sorting pupils into ability groups by streaming or setting.
  4. (conjunctive) In that case.
    If it’s locked, then we’ll need the key.
    Is it 12 o'clock already? Then it's time for me to leave.
    You don't like potatoes? What do you want me to cook, then?
  5. (sequence) At the same time; on the other hand.
    That’s a nice shirt, but then, so is the other one.
  6. (obsolete) At the time that; when.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur, Book I.23, reprinted 1817, Sir Thomas Malory, William Caxton, Morte d'Arthur: The Byrth, Lyf, and Actes of Kyng Arthur, Volume 1, page 37:
      Than the knyght sawe hym lye soo on the ground, he alyght and was passynge heuy, for he wende he had slayne hym [...].
  7. (UK, dialect, affirmation) Used to contradict an assertion.
    • 2001, Eric Malpass, At the Height of the Moon, page 28,
      ‘She says Indian elephants are tidgy little things.’ ¶ ‘They′re not then.’ Emma was getting heated. ‘They′re –’ ¶ ‘Emma!’ said Jenny sharply. The child subsided.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Adjective[edit]

then (not comparable)

  1. being so at that time

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

Noun[edit]

then

  1. That time
    It will be finished before then.

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Conjunction[edit]

then

  1. Obsolete spelling of than.

Statistics[edit]

Anagrams[edit]

References[edit]