From Middle English yesterday, yisterday, ȝesterdai, ȝisterdai, from Old English ġiestrandæġ, ġister dæġ, ġestor dæġ, ġeostran dæġ, equivalent to yester- + day; see there for more. Compare Scots yisterday, yesterday (“yesterday”), Gothic 𐌲𐌹𐍃𐍄𐍂𐌰𐌳𐌰𐌲𐌹𐍃 (gistradagis, “tomorrow”, adverb). Compare further Dutch gisteren, German gestern.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈjɛstədeɪ/, /ˈjɛstədɪ/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈjɛstɚdeɪ/, /ˈjɛstɚdi/
- (dated, Southern US folk speech) IPA(key): /ˈjɪstɚdeɪ/, /ˈjɪstɚdi/
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yesterday (plural yesterdays)
- The day immediately before today; one day ago.
- Today is the child of yesterday and the parent of tomorrow.
- Yesterday was rainy, but by this morning it had begun to snow.
- (figuratively) The recent past, often disparaging.
- yesterday's technology
- 1606 William Shakespeare, Macbeth, 5.5
- All our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death.
- 2013 June 22, “Snakes and ladders”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8841, page 76:
- Risk is everywhere. From tabloid headlines insisting that coffee causes cancer (yesterday, of course, it cured it) to stern government warnings about alcohol and driving, the world is teeming with goblins. For each one there is a frighteningly precise measurement of just how likely it is to jump from the shadows and get you.
- The plural yesterdays is unusual and often poetic for the recent past, e.g. “all our yesterdays have come back to haunt us”.
- While pronunciations with /ˈjɪ-/ are now dialectal, they were formerly found in the standard language. For example, writer and orthoepist Thomas Sheridan prescribed such a pronunciation in his work.
yesterday (not comparable)
- On the day before today.
- (informal) As soon as possible.
- I want this done yesterday!
- ^ Hans Kurath and Raven Ioor McDavid (1961). The pronunciation of English in the Atlantic States: based upon the collections of the linguistic atlas of the Eastern United States. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, pp. 134–135.
- ^ Thomas Sheridan (1790) A Complete Dictionary of the English Language, Both with Regard to Sound and Meaning, volume 2, C. Dilly
- On the preceding day
- At another preceding point in time; in the past
- The preceding day; yesterday
- A preceding point in time; the past