Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of then
Meaning of then by Wiktionary Dictionary



    • ( UK, US ) IPA: /ðɛn/, X-SAMPA: /DEn/
    • ( Canada ) IPA: /ðen/
    • Homophone: unstressed than
    • Rhymes: -ɛn


    From Middle English then( ne ), than( ne ), from Old English þonne, þanne, þænne ( “then, at that time” ), from Proto-Germanic *þan-, *þana- ( “at that ( time ), then” ), from Proto-Indo-European *to- ( “demonstrative pronoun” ). Cognate with Dutch dan ( “then” ), German dann ( “then” ), Icelandic þá ( “then” ). Related to than .


    then ( not comparable )

    1. ( temporal location ) At that time .
      He was happy then .
    2. ( temporal location ) Soon afterward .
      He fixed it, then left .
      Turn left, then right, then right again, then keep going until you reach the service station .
    3. ( sequence ) Next in order; in addition .
      There are three green ones, then a blue one .
    4. ( conjunctive ) In that case .
      If it’s locked, then we’ll need the key .
      Is it 12 o'clock already? Then it's time for me to leave .
      You don't like potatoes? What do you want me to cook, then?
    5. ( sequence ) At the same time; on the other hand .
      That’s a nice shirt, but then, so is the other one .
    6. ( obsolete ) At the time that; when.
    7. ( UK, dialect, affirmation ) used to contradict an assertion.



    then ( not comparable )

    1. being so at that time



    1. That time
      It will be finished before then .



    1. Obsolete spelling of than .



    See also

    • Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, 1989

Explanation of then by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. subsequently or soon afterward

    2. then he left
      go left first, then right
      first came lightning, then thunder
      we watched the late movie and then went to bed
    3. at that time

    4. I was young then
      prices were lower back then
      science as it was then taught
    5. in that case or as a consequence

    6. if he didn't take it, then who did?
      keep it then if you want to
      the case, then, is closed
      you've made up your mind then?
      then you'll be rich
    1. at a specific prior time

    2. the then president
    1. that time

    2. we will arrive before then
      we were friends from then on

    Definition of then by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Then ( thĕn ), adv. [Originally the same word as than. See Than.]
      1. At that time ( referring to a time specified, either past or future ).

      And the Canaanite was then in the land. Gen. xii. 6.

      Now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Cor. xiii. 12.

      2. Soon afterward, or immediately; next; afterward.

      First be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Matt. v. 24.

      3. At another time; later; again.

      One while the master is not aware of what is done, and then in other cases it may fall out to be own act. L'Estrange.

      By then. By that time. By the time that. [Obs.]

      But that opinion, I trust, by then this following argument hath been well read, will be left for one of the mysteries of an indulgent Antichrist. Milton.

      Now and then. See under Now, adv. -- Till then, until that time; until the time mentioned. Milton.

      ☞ Then is often used elliptically, like an adjective, for then existing; as, the then administration.

    2. Then conj.
      1. Than. [Obs.] Spenser.

      2. In that case; in consequence; as a consequence; therefore; for this reason.

      If all this be so, then man has a natural freedom. Locke.

      Now, then, be all thy weighty cares away. Dryden.

      Syn. -- Therefore. Then, Therefore. Both these words are used in reasoning; but therefore takes the lead, while then is rather subordinate or incidental. Therefore states reasons and draws inferences in form; then, to a great extent, takes the point as proved, and passes on to the general conclusion. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God.” Rom. v. 1. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Rom. x. 17.