Definition of auld lang syne in English:

auld lang syne


  • Times long past.

    ‘Should auld acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne?’
    • ‘Literally translated from Scottish dialect, the words auld lang syne mean old long since, or, in more familiar terms, days gone by.’


auld lang syne

/ˌōl(d) ˌlaNG ˈzīn/ /ˌoʊl(d) ˌlæŋ ˈzaɪn/ /ˌôl(d) ˌlaNG ˈzīn/ /ˌɔl(d) ˌlæŋ ˈzaɪn/ /ˌäl(d) ˌlaNG ˈzīn/ /ˌɑl(d) ˌlæŋ ˈzaɪn/


    for auld lang syne
    • For old times' sake.

      ‘how about a drink, for auld lang syne, before we start our argument?’
      • ‘For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we'll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne…’
      • ‘But he is taking an uncharacteristic risk for the sake of auld lang syne.’


Mid 17th century Scots (see auld, lang syne). The phrase was popularized as the title and refrain of a song by Robert Burns (1788).