Words related to amidst

amid (adv., prep.)

Middle English amidde, from Old English on middan "in the middle," from dative singular of midde "mid, middle" (from PIE root *medhyo- "middle"); also see a- (1). The phrase evidently was felt as "in (the) middle" and thus followed by a genitive case, and if this had endured we would follow it today with of. (See amidst for further evolution along this line).

The same applies to equivalents in Latin (in medio) and Greek (en meso), both originally adjective phrases which evolved to take the genitive case. But in later Old English on middan also was treated as a preposition and followed by dative. Used in compounds from early 13c.

amongst (prep., adv.)

"among," mid-13c., amonges, from among with adverbial genitive -s. The unetymological -t is attested from 16c. (compare amidst).

against (prep.)

12c., agenes "in opposition to, adverse, hostile; in an opposite direction or position, in contact with, in front of, so as to meet," originally a southern variant of agan (prep.) "again" (see again), with adverbial genitive. The unetymological -t turned up mid-14c. and was standard by early 16c., perhaps from influence of superlatives (see amidst). The word's use as a conjunction, "against the time that," hence "before," is now archaic or obsolete.

betwixt (prep., adv.)

Middle English bitwixe, from Old English betweox "between, in the space that separates, among, amidst, meanwhile," from bi- "by" (see by) + tweox "for two," from Proto-Germanic *twa "two" (from PIE root *dwo- "two") + *-isk "-ish."

With unetymological -t that first appeared in Old English and became general after c. 1500. Compare amidst. Betwixen also was a variant in Old and Middle English. Middle English also had twix (prep., adv.) "among; in the meantime."

whilst (adv.)
late 14c., from while (q.v.) with adverbial genitive -s-, and unetymological -t (see amidst).
atwixt (adv.)

"between, betwixt," late 14c., atwix, atwixen, from a- (1) + Middle English twix, twixt "among" (see betwixt). The unetymological -t begins by mid-15c. (compare amidst).

hest (n.)

"bidding, command," Old English hæs "bidding, behest, command," from Proto-Germanic *hait-ti-, from *haitan "to call, name" (see behest). With unetymological -t added in Middle English on model of other pairings (compare wist/wesan, also whilst, amongst, etc.; see amidst).

while (n.)
Old English hwile, accusative of hwil "a space of time," from Proto-Germanic *hwilo (source also of Old Saxon hwil, Old Frisian hwile, Old High German hwila, German Weile, Gothic hveila "space of time, while"), originally "rest" (compare Old Norse hvila "bed," hvild "rest"), from PIE *kwi-lo-, suffixed form of root *kweie- "to rest, be quiet." Notion of "period of rest" became in Germanic "period of time."

Now largely superseded by time except in formulaic constructions (such as all the while). Middle English sense of "short space of time spent in doing something" now only preserved in worthwhile and phrases such as worth (one's) while. As a conjunction, "during or in the time that; as long as" (late Old English), it represents Old English þa hwile þe, literally "the while that." Form whiles is recorded from early 13c.; whilst is from late 14c., with unetymological -st as in amongst, amidst. Service while-you-wait is attested from 1911.