from time immemorial


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from time immemorial

A time long before one would be able to remember; since the distant past. Our family line has presided over this land from time immemorial. Giant sea turtles have been coming to this spot to mate from time immemorial.
See also: immemorial, time

time out of mind

Long before one would be able to remember; a very long time ago. Our family line has presided over this land since time out of mind, but with the fall of the aristocracy, that seems to be coming to an end. Giant sea turtles have been coming to this spot to mate for time out of mind.
See also: mind, of, out, time

from/since ˌtime immeˈmorial

from ancient times; from a very long time ago: The Barton family have lived in this village since time immemorial.
See also: immemorial, since, time

from time immemorial

Since ancient times; prior to anyone’s recall. According to Ebenezer Brewer, this term comes from English law, where it meant beyond legal memory—that is, before the reign of Richard I (1189– 99), fixed by the Statute of Westminster (1275) as the legal limit for bringing certain kinds of legal action (similar to the present-day statute of limitations). Later it came to mean simply a very long time ago. Thus Oliver Goldsmith wrote (The Bee, 1759), “This deformity . . . it had been the custom, time immemorial, to look upon as the greatest ornament of the human visage.” Exactly the same is meant by time out of mind, which dates from the fifteenth century, when it appeared in print in Rolls of Parliament. Both terms have been clichés since about 1800. See also since the beginning of time.
See also: immemorial, time
References in classic literature ?
In every Circular or Polygonal household it has been a habit from time immemorial -- and now has become a kind of instinct among the women of our higher classes -- that the mothers and daughters should constantly keep their eyes and mouths towards their husband and his male friends; and for a lady in a family of distinction to turn her back upon her husband would be regarded as a kind of portent, involving loss of STATUS.
Before Tarzan came upon his first visit, La had had no thought that such men as he existed, for she knew only her hideous little priests and the bulls of the tribe of great anthropoids that had dwelt from time immemorial in and about Opar, until they had come to be looked upon almost as equals by the Oparians.
I said secretly, because the Fairy had warned the Queen that the King was a magician; and as from time immemorial there had been a standing feud between the Fairies and the Wizards, he might not have approved of his wife's visit.
Don Quixote left him, and hastened to the castle to tell the duke and duchess what had happened Sancho, and they were not a little astonished at it; they could easily understand his having fallen, from the confirmatory circumstance of the cave which had been in existence there from time immemorial; but they could not imagine how he had quitted the government without their receiving any intimation of his coming.
For my own part, I should doubtless have belonged to the latter class, had I received instruction from but one master, or had I never known the diversities of opinion that from time immemorial have prevailed among men of the greatest learning.
At others he will with his own hands tear down some other man's gate and declare that a path has existed there from time immemorial, defying the owner to prosecute him for trespass.
These and the rest of a shy man's troubles are always very amusing to other people, and have afforded material for comic writing from time immemorial. But if we look a little deeper we shall find there is a pathetic, one might almost say a tragic, side to the picture.
All of our Princes and Rulers have grown upon this one bush from time immemorial."
The Communists have no need to introduce community of women; it has existed almost from time immemorial.
These are inhabited by as many distinct tribes of savages, who, although speaking kindred dialects of a common language, and having the same religion and laws, have from time immemorial waged hereditary warfare against each other.
"We ran round to Morecambe Bay, and landed the gold as we Rattrays had landed lace and brandy from time immemorial. We left Eva in charge of Jane Braithwaite, God only knows how much against my will, but we were in a corner, it was life or death with us, and to find out how much you knew was a first plain necessity.
This was the way in which the Kukuana people had from time immemorial preserved their royal dead.
"There are a couple of torn volumes somewhere; they have been lying about from time immemorial," added Alexandra.
In these three dances the dancers furnish their own music, which never varies; nor do the steps or figures vary, having been handed down from time immemorial. All Barsoomian dances are stately and beautiful, but The Dance of Barsoom is a wondrous epic of motion and harmony--there is no grotesque posturing, no vulgar or suggestive movements.
"You must remember," he explained suavely, "that it was built by my grandfather, and that we have had rights over the whole of the foreshore here from time immemorial. I know quite well that my brother gave it to your father - or rather he sold it to him for a nominal sum.