• Yesterday


    • RP IPA: /ˈjÉ›stÉ™deɪ/
    • US IPA: /ˈjÉ›stÉšdeɪ/
    • Rhymes: -eɪ


    From Middle English, from Old English geostran dæg, equivalent to - + day; compounded from

    • Old English geostran ("yesterday"), from Proto-Germanic *gestra-, from Proto-Indo-European *dʰǵʰyes-;
    • Old English dæg, from Proto-Germanic *dagaz, from Proto-Indo-European *dÊ°egÊ°- ("to burn")

    Full definition of yesterday



    (plural yesterdays)
    1. 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.
      • 1899, Hughes Mearns, Antigonish, Yesterday, upon the stair / I met a man who wasn’t there / He wasn’t there again today / I wish, I wish he’d go away …
    2. The (recent) past, often disparaging.
      yesterday's technology
      • 1606 William Shakespeare, Macbeth, 5.5All our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death.
      • 2013-06-22, Snakes and ladders, 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.

    Usage notes

    The term yesterdays is unusual and often poetic for the recent past, e.g. "all our yesterdays have come back to haunt us."

    Derived terms


    1. On the day before todayI started to watch the video yesterday, but could only finish it this evening.
    2. As soon as possibleI want this done yesterday!



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