time out of mind(redirected from times out of mind)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
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.
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.