Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English bitimen (to happen); equivalent to be- +‎ time (verb). Compare betide.


betime (third-person singular simple present betimes, present participle betiming, simple past and past participle betimed)

  1. (intransitive) To occur; betide.
    c. 1595–1596, W. Shakespere [i.e., William Shakespeare], A Pleasant Conceited Comedie Called, Loues Labors Lost. [] (First Quarto), imprinted in London: By W[illiam] W[hite] for Cut[h]bert Burby, published 1598, OCLC 61366361, [Act IV, scene iii]:
    Away, away, no time ſhalbe omitted, / That will be time and may by vs be fitted.

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English by-tyme (by time); equivalent to by +‎ time.


betime (not comparable)

  1. Betimes.
    • 1868, Mary Frances Cusack, An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800[1]:
      Send succours (lords), and stop the rage betime, Before the wound do grow uncurable; For being green, there is great hope of help."
    • 1907, Michael Drayton, Minor Poems of Michael Drayton[2]:
      Her feature all as fresh aboue, As is the grasse that grows by Doue, as lyth as lasse of Kent: Her skin as soft as Lemster wooll, As white as snow on peakish hull, or Swanne that swims in Trent. 30 This mayden in a morne betime, Went forth when May was in her prime, to get sweet Cetywall, The hony-suckle, the Harlocke, The Lilly and the Lady-smocke, to decke her summer hall.

Derived termsEdit