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
- ‘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:’
- ‘People Rise Betimes to Quaff the Health-Giving Waters in Central Park.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
2North American Sometimes; on occasion.
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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?’
Middle English: from obsolete betime (see by, time).
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