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See also: yester-year


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Compound of yester- +‎ year. Coined by Dante Gabriel Rossetti in 1869 in his translation "Ballad Of Dead Ladies", to translate Middle French antan (last year) (in Ballad 1 of François Villon's Testament).



yesteryear (countable and uncountable, plural yesteryears)

  1. (poetic) Past years; time gone by; yore.
    • 1928, D[avid] H[erbert] Lawrence, chapter 5, in Lady Chatterley’s Lover, [Florence, Italy: [] Tipografia Giuntina, []], →OCLC; republished as Lady Chatterley’s Lover (eBook no. 0100181h.html)‎[1], Australia: Project Gutenberg Australia, August 2011, archived from the original on 11 November 2020:
      It seems to me that it isn't these little acts and little connexions we make in our lives that matter so very much. They pass away, and where are they? Where…Where are the snows of yesteryear?
    • 2023 August 23, Pip Dunn, “The last bastion of the HST 'Castles'”, in RAIL, number 990, page 49:
      After passing Starcross and then the new [] Marsh Barton station, we soon arrive at the delightful Exeter St Davids station, which still retains much of its charm and GWR character of yesteryear.
  2. (rare) Last year.


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