Erstwhile is an adjective that describes something or someone that existed, occurred, or was relevant in the past, but is no longer in that state or position. It can be used to refer to something that was formerly or previously present, active, or known.
The term is typically used to highlight a change or shift from a previous state. Erstwhile can imply a sense of nostalgia, indicating that something has been replaced or is no longer in existence. It often suggests that the current state is different from the former state mentioned.
An erstwhile lover, for example, would describe someone who was once a lover but is not currently in that role. Similarly, an erstwhile leader refers to a person who once held a position of authority or power but no longer does.
Erstwhile can also be used to describe things in a larger context, such as an erstwhile city that no longer holds the same status or importance. It can also be used to describe an erstwhile belief or idea, highlighting that it was previously accepted or held but is no longer supported or commonly held.
Overall, the term "erstwhile" conveys a sense of the past, indicating that something or someone has transitioned from a previous state, existence, or status to a different one.
* The statistics data for these misspellings percentages are collected from over 15,411,110 spell check sessions on www.spellchecker.net from Jan 2010 - Jun 2012.
The word "erstwhile" originated from the Middle English "erst" (meaning "earlier" or "previous") and the Old English "hwīl" (meaning "time" or "period"). The combination of these two elements gives us "erstwhile", which means "former" or "formerly".