One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1archaic Before the usual or expected time; early.‘next morning I was up betimes’
before the usual time, before the appointed timeView synonyms
- ‘People Rise Betimes to Quaff the Health-Giving Waters in Central Park.’
- ‘Up very betimes and walked (my boy with me) to Mr. Coles, and after long waiting below, he being under the barbers hands, I spoke with him, and he did give me much hopes of getting my debt that my brother owed me, and also that things would go well with my father.’
- ‘And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place:’
- ‘Up betimes, my wife having a mind to have gone abroad with me, but I had not because of troubling me, and so left her, though against my will, to go and see her father and mother by herself.’
- ‘Up pretty betimes, but yet I observe how my dancing and lying a morning or two longer than ordinary for my cold do make me hard to rise as I used to do, or look after my business as I am wont.’
2North American Sometimes; on occasion.
- ‘His is indeed a calling of skill, not to wait for the cries of pain, but recognise betimes a sick body not yet conscious of its sickness.’
- ‘Waves so high that they disappeared into clouds, gales that betimes lifted the boat from the very sea, rain and hail, all manner of precipitation.’
- ‘Nonetheless, it s a subject about which I can get a little bit passionate betimes.’
- ‘‘There is no Terry Spencer here,’ I said, only to discover an apologetic police officer now asking for Mr Joseph, saying betimes: ‘We have a lot of reports.’’
- ‘Since no man, of aught he leaves, knows aught, what is't to leave betimes?’
- ‘Trouble is oppressive to the heart; yet often it proves a source of help and salvation to the children of men, to everyone who heeds it betimes.’
Middle English: from obsolete betime (see by, time).
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