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time was (when)
In previous times; there was a time when. (Used to introduce something that used to be common, especially when one thinks that is the way things should still be.) This city has gone to the dogs. Time was, a person could walk down the street at night and not be afraid of getting mugged. Time was when we actually wrote letters to one another, instead of yammering away to each other on the likes of Facebook or Twitter.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
time was (when)
there was a time when; at a time in the past. Time was when old people were taken care of at home. Time was when people didn't travel around so much.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Formerly, in the past, as in Time was, the city streets were perfectly safe at night. [Mid-1500s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
time wasthere was a time.
1998 Times Time was when venture capital was shunned by self-respecting, ambitious corporate financiers…No longer.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
There was once a time: "Time was when [urban gangs] were part of a ... subculture that inner-city adolescence outgrew" (George F. Will).
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.