time was

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English[edit]

Phrase[edit]

time was

  1. It was once true (that)...
    • a. 1659, Jonathan Mitchell, editor, The Parable of the Ten Virgins Opened and Applied [sermons of Thomas Shepard], 1797 edition, volume 2, page 259 [1]:
      Time was, the feet of the messengers of peace were glorious, but now their message is mean; [] time was, thou wert exceeding tender of the least sin, and not a day past, but thy cheeks were wet in secret before the Lord; now thou art grown blind [] .
    • 1879, John Berwick Harwood, Young Lord Penrith, chapter 34; as serialized in, 1879 June 21, Chambers's Journal, fourth series, number 808; which was reprinted in, Chambers's Journal 1879, page 387 [2]:
      I call him poor; but time was, that in our intercourse I was the obliged party.
    • 2010, Linda B. Nilson, Teaching at Its Best, third edition, Jossey-Bass, ISBN 9780470401040, page xvii [3]:
      Liberal arts and community colleges as well as other teaching-centered institutions have always promoted high standards of teaching excellence. But time was that no one really cared much what instructors in more research-oriented universities did in the classroom, as long as it was legal.