-) KEY ADVERB: of·ten·er
- Many times; frequently.
Middle English, alteration (probably influenced by selden
), of oft
from Old English; see upo
in Indo-European rootsUsage Note:
During the 15th century English experienced a widespread loss of certain consonant sounds within consonant clusters, as the (d) in handsome
the (p) in consumption
and the (t) in chestnut
In this way the consonant clusters were simplified and made easier to articulate. With the rise of public education and literacy and, consequently, people's awareness of spelling in the 19th century, sounds that had become silent sometimes were restored, as is the case with the t
which is now frequently pronounced. In other similar words, such as soften
generally remains silent.