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some·time (sŭmtīm)
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adv.
1. At an indefinite or unstated time: I'll meet you sometime this afternoon.
2. At an indefinite time in the future: Let's get together sometime.
3. Archaic Formerly.
4. Obsolete At times; sometimes.
adj.
1. Having been at some prior time; former: a sometime secretary.
2. Usage Problem Occasional.

Usage Note: Since the 15th century people have used sometime as an adjective to mean “former,” as in our sometime colleague. Since the 1930s people have also used it to mean “occasional,” as in Duquette decided to trade Everett, the team's sometime star and sometime problem child. Evidence suggests that this usage is now standard. In 1975, a majority of the Usage Panel found this “occasional” use unacceptable, but in our 2017 survey, 81 percent accepted the example quoted above. The adverbial use of sometime meaning “occasionally,” however, did not meet with much favor. Only 25 percent accepted the sentence The website is intended to help you navigate through the sometime confusing maze of government regulations. In such instances, where an adjective (and not a noun) is being modified, use sometimes instead. See Usage Note at someday.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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