From Middle English often, alteration (probably due to Middle English selden (“seldom”)) of Middle English ofte, oft, from Old English oft (“oft, often”), from Proto-Germanic *ufta, *uftō (“often”). Cognate with Scots oftin (“often”), North Frisian oftem (“often”), Saterland Frisian oafte (“often”), German oft (“often”), Danish ofte (“often”), Swedish ofta (“often”), Icelandic oft (“often”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈɒfn̩/, /ˈɒftən/
- (Received Pronunciation, dated) IPA(key): /ɔːfən/
- (US) IPA(key): /ˈɔfn̩/, /ˈɔftən/
- (US, cot–caught merger, Canada) IPA(key): /ˈɑfn̩/, /ˈɑftən/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɒfən
- Hyphenation: of‧ten
- Frequently, many times.
2013 June 8, “Obama goes troll-hunting”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8839, page 55:
- According to this saga of intellectual-property misanthropy, these creatures [patent trolls] roam the business world, buying up patents and then using them to demand extravagant payouts from companies they accuse of infringing them. Often, their victims pay up rather than face the costs of a legal battle.
- I often walk to work when the weather is nice.
- I've been going to the movies more often since a new theatre opened near me.