time, n., int., and conj.
Forms: eOE tiema (West Saxon, rare), OE tim- (in compounds), OE tima, OE tyma...
Etymology: Cognate with German regional (Alemannic) zīmə (recorded in written sources as Zimen (neuter) time, time of the year, opportune time, opportunity (1556)), Old Icelandic tími (masculine) time, season, occasion, fit or proper time, prosperity, Old Swedish time time, period of time, hour, occasion, opportunity, appointed time, appropriate time, circumstances of the time (Swedish timme , now chiefly ‘hour’), Old Danish time time, period of time, hour, occasion, appropriate time (Danish time , now chiefly ‘hour’), showing a formation < the same Germanic base as tide n. with a different derivative suffix (ultimately the same Indo-European suffix as probably shown also by e.g. gum n.1, swime n., classical Latin sēmen ).The origin of the shared base of time n. and tide n. is uncertain and disputed: it is often identified ultimately with the same Indo-European base as ancient Greek δαίεσθαι to divide, Sanskrit day- to divide, allot, although a different account connects it ultimately with the same Indo-European base as classical Latin diū for a long time, Sanskrit dyūn (in anu dyūn throughout the days, all the time), and the second element of Gothic sinteino always; compare also Armenian ti age, which may be related (it is normally derived from a reconstructed form which would be an exact parallel for tide n.), although it is difficult to connect this with either of these Indo-European bases.Form history.
In Old English usually a weak masculine (tīma ); in later Old English a strong masculine (tīme ) is also attested. The West Saxon form tiema shows a reverse spelling after the monophthongization of ῑe (compare A. Campbell Old Eng. Gram. (1959) §300).In modern Scots the form tim shows an unstressed variant; it is also found in Irish English (northern) in compounds, as e.g. suppertim supper time.Semantic history.In a number of specific senses probably after similar specific uses of the word for ‘time’ in Latin and in Romance languages.In sense A. 20 (with reference to weather) probably partly after post-classical Latin tempus (12th cent. in this sense), and partly after Middle French temps weather (12th cent. in Old French in this sense).In senses A. 23 (in prosody) and A. 29 (in music) probably ultimately after classical Latin tempus denoting a unit of length of sound. In uses in music at sense A. 26 probably ultimately after similar uses of post-classical Latin tempus (see tempus n.) or Italian tempo (see tempo n.1).In sense A. 25 (in grammar) after Middle French temps (14th cent. in this sense) or classical Latin tempus (see tense n.).In sense A. 30 (in dressage) after French temps (1680 or earlier in this sense).In Old English largely overlapping in sense with (more common) tīd tide n. The two words occasionally occur together, sometimes as synonyms; compare:And sometimes with (more or less) clearly distinct senses; compare:OED - TIME
OE Lambeth Psalter xxxvi. 39 Protector eorum in tempore tribulationis: gescyldnes uel beweriend heora on timan uel on tide gedrefednysse.
OE Note on Six Ages of World (Hatton 113) in A. S. Napier Wulfstan (1883) 312 An yld is geteald of Adame to Noe‥, fifte of ðam heregange to Cristes gebyrdtiman, sexte of ures drihtnes gebyrdtide to þam ende, þe god ana wat.
1440 Promp. Parv. (Harl. 221) 494 Tyme, idem quod tyyde [1499 Pynson tyme, whyle, tempus].
OE Guthlac A 754 Hwæt we þissa wundra gewitan sindon! Eall þas geeodon in ussera tida timan.
OE Judgement Day II 83 Nu þu scealt greotan, tearas geotan, þa hwile tima sy and tid wopes.
OE Laws: Norðhymbra Preosta Lagu (Corpus Cambr.) xxxvi. 382 Gif preost on gesetne timan tida ne ringe oððe tida ne singe, gebete þæt.
c1175 (OE) Ælfric's Homily on Nativity of Christ (Bodl. 343) in A. O. Belfour 12th Cent. Homilies in MS Bodl. 343 (1909) 78 Nes nan timæ ne nefræ nane tide, ne nan oðre gesceaft þe he ane ne isceop.