Time immemorial
Immemorial Im`me*mo"ri*al, a. [Pref. im- not + memorial: cf. F. imm['e]morial.] Extending beyond the reach of memory, record, or tradition; indefinitely ancient; as, existing from time immemorial. ``Immemorial elms.'' --Tennyson. ``Immemorial usage or custom.'' --Sir M. Hale. [1913 Webster]

{Time immemorial} (Eng. Law.), a time antedating (legal) history, and beyond ``legal memory'' so called; formerly an indefinite time, but in 1276 this time was fixed by statute as the begining of the reign of Richard I. (1189). Proof of unbroken possession or use of any right since that date made it unnecessary to establish the original grant. In 1832 the plan of dating legal memory from a fixed time was abandoned and the principle substituted that rights which had been enjoyed for full twenty years (or as against the crown thirty years) should not be liable to impeachment merely by proving that they had not been enjoyed before. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • Time immemorial — is a phrase meaning time extending beyond the reach of memory, record, or tradition. The implication is that the subject referred to is, or can be regarded as, indefinitely ancient. The phrase is one of the few cases in the English Language where …   Wikipedia

  • Time immemorial — Time Time, n.; pl. {Times}. [OE. time, AS. t[=i]ma, akin to t[=i]d time, and to Icel. t[=i]mi, Dan. time an hour, Sw. timme. [root]58. See {Tide}, n.] 1. Duration, considered independently of any system of measurement or any employment of terms… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • time immemorial — ► time immemorial a point of time in the distant past beyond recall or knowledge. Main Entry: ↑time …   English terms dictionary

  • time immemorial — n. 1. time so long past as to be vague 2. Eng. Law beyond legal memory, fixed by statute as prior to 1189, the beginning of the reign of Richard I …   English World dictionary

  • time immemorial — 1189. See acquisitive prescription. Collins dictionary of law. W. J. Stewart. 2001 …   Law dictionary

  • time immemorial — noun the distant past beyond memory • Syn: ↑time out of mind • Hypernyms: ↑past, ↑past times, ↑yesteryear * * * noun 1. a. : a time beyond legal m …   Useful english dictionary

  • time immemorial — 1. Also called time out of mind. time in the distant past beyond memory or record: Those carvings have been there from time immemorial. 2. Law. time beyond legal memory, fixed by statute in England as prior to the beginning of the reign of… …   Universalium

  • time immemorial — time′ immemo′rial n. time in the distant past …   From formal English to slang

  • time immemorial — noun Date: 1602 1. a time antedating a period legally fixed as the basis for a custom or right 2. time so long past as to be indefinite in history or tradition called also time out of mind …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • time immemorial — /ˌtaɪm ɪməˈmɔriəl/ (say .tuym imuh mawreeuhl) noun 1. Also, time out of mind. a time extending back beyond memory or record. 2. Law time beyond legal memory, fixed by English statute as prior to the beginning of the reign of Richard I (1189) …   Australian English dictionary

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