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From Middle English sumtymes, somtymes, som tymes, equivalent to sometime +‎ -s (adverbial suffix). Compare West Frisian somtiden (sometimes), Dutch somtijds (sometimes), Danish sommetider (sometimes).


  • enPR: sŭmʹtīmz, IPA(key): /ˈsʌmtaɪmz/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: some‧times


sometimes (not comparable)

  1. On certain occasions, or in certain circumstances, but not always. [from 16th c.]
    Sometimes I sit and think, but mostly I just sit.
    • Jeremy Taylor
      It is good that we sometimes be contradicted.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 5, in The Celebrity:
      We made an odd party before the arrival of the Ten, particularly when the Celebrity dropped in for lunch or dinner. He could not be induced to remain permanently at Mohair because Miss Trevor was at Asquith, but he appropriated a Hempstead cart from the Mohair stables and made the trip sometimes twice in a day.
    • 2013 June 8, “Obama goes troll-hunting”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8839, page 55:
      The solitary, lumbering trolls of Scandinavian mythology would sometimes be turned to stone by exposure to sunlight. Barack Obama is hoping that several measures announced on June 4th will have a similarly paralysing effect on their modern incarnation, the patent troll.
  2. (obsolete) On a certain occasion in the past; once. [16th-17th c.]
    • William Shakespeare
      That fair and warlike form / In which the majesty of buried Denmark / Did sometimes march.
    • :
      For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy, 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970, (please specify |partition=1, 2, or 3):
      , II.3.7:
      they detract, scoffe, and raile (saith one), and bark at me on every side; but I, like that Albanian dog sometimes given to Alexander for a present, vindico me ab illis solo contemptu; I lie still, and sleep, vindicate myself by contempt alone.


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sometimes (not comparable)

  1. (obsolete) Former; sometime.