One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
attributive From or in an earlier time (used to indicate that someone or something once possessed a specified characteristic but no longer does so)‘her ci-devant student, now her lover’
one-time, erstwhile, sometime, late, as wasView synonyms
- ‘The ci-devant banker, then a widower with an only daughter, Esther, had journeyed to England.’
- ‘I cannot say I think his manners have much of that elegance which might have been expected from a person of his ci-devant rank.’
- ‘The school's ci-devant principal admits she may have made a mistake.’
- ‘The sweat-soaked, frightened, and bedraggled ci-devant dandy hammered at the door of his last-hope refuge.’
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