AskDefine | Define yesterday

The Collaborative Dictionary

Yesterday \Yes"ter*day\, n. [OE. [yogh]isterdai, AS. geostran d[ae]g, from geostran, geostra, giestran, gistran, gystran, yesterday (akin to D. gisteren, G. gestern, OHG. gestaron, Icel. g[ae]r yesterday, to-morrow, Goth. gistradagis to-morrow, L. heri yesterday, Gr. ?, Skr. hyas) + d[ae]g day. Cf. Hestern. ????.] [1913 Webster]
The day last past; the day next before the present. [1913 Webster] All our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. --Shak. [1913 Webster] We are but of yesterday, and know nothing. --Job viii.
[1913 Webster]
Fig.: A recent time; time not long past. [1913 Webster] The proudest royal houses are but of yesterday, when compared with the line of supreme pontiffs. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]
Yesterday \Yes"ter*day\, adv. On the day last past; on the day preceding to-day; as, the affair took place yesterday. [1913 Webster] Yestereve

Word Net



1 the day immediately before today; "it was in yesterday's newspapers"
2 the recent past; "yesterday's solutions are not good enough"; "we shared many yesterdays" adv
1 on the day preceding today; "yesterday the weather was beautiful"
2 in the recent past; only a short time ago; "I was not born yesterday!"

Moby Thesaurus

aforetime, before, before now, beforetime, bygone days, bygone times, days gone by, dead past, earlier, erenow, erewhile, erst, foretime, former times, formerly, heretofore, historically, history, hitherto, in the past, in times past, lang syne, only yesterday, past, past history, past times, prehistorically, previously, priorly, recent past, recently, the irrevocable Past, the past, then, thou unrelenting past, times past, whilom, yesteryear, yore



From etyl enm < etyl ang geostran dæg, compounded from
  • Old English geostran < < ;
  • Old English dæg < < .


  • RP: /ˈjestədeɪ/
  • US: /ˈjestərdeɪ/
  • Rhymes: -eɪ


  1. The day before today.
    Yesterday was rainy, but by this morning it had begun to snow.
  2. The (recent) past, often disparaging.
    Yesterday's technology.
    All our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death. [Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5]

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."


day before today
the recent past


  1. On the day before today
    I started to watch the video yesterday, but could only finish the movie this evening.




on the day before today
Yesterday is the day before today. Yesterday was , 2008 (UTC).
The term may also describe some indefinite time in the past, rather than the previous day.
It can also refer to:





  • Yesterday & Today, a hard rock band also known as Y&T


Film & television

yesterday in German: Yesterday (Begriffsklärung)
yesterday in Persian: دیروز (ابهام‌زدایی)
yesterday in Indonesian: Yesterday
yesterday in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Heri
yesterday in Italian: Ieri
yesterday in Japanese: 昨日
yesterday in Polish: Yesterday
yesterday in Simple English: Yesterday
yesterday in Contenese: 尋日
yesterday in Chinese: 昨天
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