Definition of betimes in English:



  • 1archaic Before the usual or expected time; early.

    ‘next morning I was up betimes’
    • ‘People Rise Betimes to Quaff the Health-Giving Waters in Central Park.’
    • ‘Up very betimes and walked (my boy with me) to Mr. Cole’s, and after long waiting below, he being under the barber’s 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 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.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 2North American Sometimes; on occasion.

    • ‘‘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.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Since no man, of aught he leaves, knows aught, what is't to leave betimes?’
    • ‘Nonetheless, it s a subject about which I can get a little bit passionate 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).