Definition of past in English:

past

See synonyms for past

Translate past into Spanish

adjective

  • 1Gone by in time and no longer existing.

    ‘the danger is now past’
    • ‘The Conservative Party came round to him, and by October the worst of the dangers of that year were past.’
    • ‘Surely the age of bigotry is past.’
    • ‘But some argue the worst may be past.’
    • ‘He is a reminder of the site's history, a unique tie to stories and advice from times past.’
    • ‘Several of his long-time customers commented that his produce tasted better than in years past, and was keeping for longer.’
    • ‘The days are long past when we sent children up chimneys to sweep them.’
    • ‘Above all the book recalls some of the village's characters from days long past.’
    • ‘Each sketch is an individual work of art and represents a historically accurate reflection of a time past.’
    • ‘What happened in Athens is now past.’
    gone by, over, over and done with, no more, gone, done, dead and buried, finished, ended, forgotten, bygone, former, old, of old, earlier, long-ago, ancient, defunct, extinct
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1attributive Belonging to a former time.
      ‘they made a study of the reasons why past attempts had failed’
      • ‘he is a past chairman of the society’
      • ‘Club captain Johnson and past captain Jacobs completed six rounds of golf in a day to raise money for charity.’
      • ‘The union's offer to assist the government is completely in line with its past practices.’
      • ‘It is time to forget past differences and work together for the larger interest of the nation.’
      • ‘The other obvious challenger is Joseba Beloki, a podium finisher in the past three Tours.’
      • ‘Mrs Taylor-Silk said the break would give the family a chance to forget about past worries and look to the future.’
      • ‘Forget the past performance, you now need to focus on the future and find such investments.’
      • ‘However they have not made any correlation between the current problem and the past accident.’
      • ‘Each is accused of a past crime that they have not yet been prosecuted for.’
      • ‘Any artist who has had their past work stamped with classic status must surely find themselves in a bind.’
      • ‘Maple Leaf Gardens has been our town square and remains a repository of our dreams and past glories.’
      • ‘But she would not have to reimburse the Government for any past benefits to which she had been entitled.’
      • ‘In today's Dubrovnik, you can just make out the joins where new stone has been melded with old, like the scars of a past life.’
      • ‘The newly adopted Lords' amendment on smacking will inspire many parents to examine their past conduct.’
      • ‘On the other hand, it is also prudent for the majority of us to learn from our past mistakes and experiences.’
      • ‘However, in light of past practices, it is doubtful whether they will live up to those pledges.’
      • ‘He is a past pupil of Gortnor Abbey Convent and Anthony is now studying at GMIT Galway.’
      • ‘Makinen is also a past winner, all of which will make the most arduous rally in the WRC a hot contest.’
      • ‘Mr Wilson said past experiences had shown voting was often done in the initial days of polls opening.’
      • ‘On past experience with your Journal I don't expect this pro-blood sports letter to be printed.’
      • ‘In their past nine matches they have lost seven times, and have scored just 15 times in the league all season.’
      • ‘When I left I felt ashamed that even as a seasoned traveller I had avoided this area for fear of the past conflict.’
      previous, former, prior, foregoing, late, erstwhile, as was, one-time, sometime, ex-
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    2. 1.2attributive (of a specified period of time) occurring before and leading up to the time of speaking or writing.
      ‘the band has changed over the past twelve months’
      • ‘Michelle has been doing a lot of writing over the past year and has just signed a record deal with Mercury Records.’
      • ‘We only went out for two months over this past summer and it was really hard on her when we broke up.’
      • ‘There is a long-established genre of writing about boys' public schools in the past century.’
      • ‘The school has been through a period of ups and downs over the past year.’
      • ‘With just six hours opening yesterday, a spokesman for the store said it was probably one of the quieter days of the past month.’
      • ‘This past weekend saw the season home opener on Saturday night against the Rams.’
      • ‘Sully had skipped too much school the past week and a bit to go completely unnoticed.’
      • ‘For the past two weeks, the Western world has seen something remarkable occur in Ukraine.’
      • ‘Word around Wellington in the past three weeks is that Clark's staff have been panicking.’
      • ‘Listen to what the vice president had to say about the Texas governor this past week.’
      • ‘The price of a gallon of gas jumped to record highs this past week here in the United States.’
      • ‘Over the past week, break-ins have taken place at Kill and also in our local church at Saleen.’
      • ‘In the past two Sundays I've seen two of the best club league games I've ever enjoyed.’
      • ‘In all the grim news of the past couple of weeks the Special Olympics stood out as an example of the good that is in the world.’
      • ‘Last year we were in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and some of those other places that have been in the news this past week.’
      • ‘The film Spark, which has been shot in Keighley over the past four weeks, is expected to go on general release next year.’
      • ‘The planting has been taking place over the past two weeks, with primary school children invited to help with the work.’
      • ‘He has spent the past decade, and the past week, attempting to do just that.’
      • ‘The government has spent more than eight trillion yen in failed attempts to bail the banks out over the past four years.’
      • ‘Millions of pounds have been spent in an attempt to revive the town in the past five years and a new high school has been created.’
      last, recent, preceding, latter
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    3. 1.3Grammar (of a tense) expressing an action that has happened or a state that previously existed.
      ‘Pashto has a rich agreement mechanism, but one that is manifested differently in the present and past tenses.’
      • ‘We often use the past tense in English to describe an imagined present or future.’
      • ‘British imperialism is habitually referred to in the past tense, as if it had gone the way of the empire.’
      • ‘This is a bond of trust that football writers speak of only in the past tense.’
      • ‘It's no secret that this was the case, but these comments were all made in the past tense.’

Pronunciation

past

/past/ /pæst/

noun

  • 1usually the pastThe time or a period of time before the moment of speaking or writing.

    ‘she found it hard to make ends meet in the past’
    • ‘the war-damaged church is preserved as a reminder of the past’
    • ‘They are expressing the national agenda of their new country by documenting important moments in the past.’
    • ‘For each of the men their existence has been brought back to these moments of the past.’
    • ‘We have been met in the past with surly and indifferent service at many retail outlets.’
    • ‘For Heavey, the performance served as a reminder of the consistency he has shown in the past.’
    • ‘His history classes emphasized the importance of telling stories as a way of making sense of the past.’
    • ‘Tennis buffs would remember them as the greatest women players from the past.’
    • ‘This may be the future of policing, but it's the policing of the past.’
    • ‘Budding archaeologists from across the county gathered in Swindon to learn about treasures from the past.’
    • ‘Despite a rocket lending a futuristic flavour to the panto, the traditional family show also harks back to the past.’
    • ‘Co-op stores in West Yorkshire have frequently been attacked in the past.’
    • ‘It seems as if every new soul singer is instantly compared to one or more of the legends of the past.’
    • ‘As irritating as romanticising the past might be to outsiders, those bound up in it must start to consider its effects.’
    • ‘But something rather unexpected happened as I gazed at these images of the past.’
    • ‘Gradually, though, she has begun to look at other painters of the past.’
    • ‘He offers a change from the discredited old politicians of the past.’
    • ‘Barney is more sympathetic to the suggestion that the past counts against us.’
    • ‘Deep cleaning is now required, whereas in the past street cleaners were able to keep gutters and footpaths clean.’
    • ‘In the past it has been dirty tricks - accidental, of course - which caused concern.’
    • ‘When I've had a drink in the past it's been to enhance the way I was feeling.’
    • ‘But by the standards of the past it had been a deplorable period in local eyes.’
    formerly, previously, in days gone by, in times gone by, in years gone by, in bygone days, back in the day, in former times, in the old days, in the good old days, at one time, in days of old, in the olden days, in olden times, in the before times
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The history of a person, country, or institution.
      ‘the monuments act as guidelines through the country's colorful past’
      • ‘They talked about their pasts, their goals, and their futures.’
      • ‘The hotel has a colourful past.’
      • ‘Given Cox's past, it is hardly surprising he acquired such coping mechanisms.’
      • ‘The Malabar region, like any other region in Kerala, has a very rich historic past.’
      • ‘Significant events from the town's past will also be acted out by Canon Slade School students.’
      • ‘The historic broadcast presents a fascinating glimpse into the past of the country and of television itself.’
      • ‘When they die, some things will be said that haven't been said before because they are controversial figures with colourful pasts.’
      • ‘Public archives are a tremendously rich resource of evidence about our collective past.’
      • ‘Detectives are interested in the past of their elderly odd-job man Romka.’
      • ‘The story is beefed up with a colourful scale of playable characters who gradually join your team and unfold facets of their distinct personalities and pasts.’
      • ‘As the characters drift toward a common fate, we see their pasts in luscious detail.’
      • ‘While there are still reminders of the colonial past, Sydney is a city, in human terms, in the teenage years.’
      • ‘And it is not just the miners that use their banners as reminders of their heroic past.’
      • ‘Some people fear their partners' pasts, viewing them as a threat to their own relationship.’
      • ‘We never really talked about our pasts, only our futures.’
      • ‘Guys don't talk to each other about our feelings, and that was especially true when you lived in a foster home with six other people with pasts you knew virtually nothing about.’
      • ‘Every night after dinner my parents would sit and talk about this uncle or that aunt, talking about their individual and collective pasts.’
      • ‘Two cities recently paid homage to their pasts and their futures by dedicating groves of life-giving trees with historic connections.’
      • ‘You have people with checkered pasts and lots of problems.’
      • ‘We uncovered a controversial policy which allows people with serious criminal pasts to be considered for a licence if they have been ‘clean’ for as little as three years.’
      history, background, life story, life, experience, career to date, biography
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    2. 1.2 informal A part of a person's history that is considered to be shameful.
      • ‘he was well dressed and enthusiastic, but the tattoo on his hand hinted that he had a past’
      • ‘It's a basic film noir set-up: a guy with a past and a blonde with a problem, and a supporting cast of lost souls.’
      • ‘The once-revered footballer is no different from any other alcoholic with a past.’
      • ‘He's also desperate to unearth Lady Dedlock's secret past and is intent on making her life hell.’
      • ‘Alethea, a poet with a past, watches and notes, despite encroaching blindness.’
  • 2Grammar
    A past tense or form of a verb.

    ‘a simple past of the first conjugation’
    • ‘In their recounting of experience encourage them to use the past continuous and the simple past.’
    • ‘These percentages of the simple verb form in the past were much lower than those for the simple present.’
    • ‘It takes time and effort to master the vowel and consonantal changes associated with the past of irregular verbs.’

Pronunciation

past

/past/ /pæst/

preposition

  • 1To or on the further side of.

    • ‘he rode on past the crossroads’
    into and out of, to the far side of, to the other side of, from one side of … to the other, from end to end of, between, past, by, down, along, across, by way of, via
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1In front of or from one side to the other of.
      • ‘he began to drive slowly past the houses’
      in front of, by, beyond
      View synonyms
  • 2Beyond in time; later than.

    ‘by this time it was past 3.30’
    • ‘my watch said twenty past twelve’
    beyond, beyond the limits of, in excess of
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  • 3Beyond a particular point, stage, or limit.

    ‘he feels his opponent is past his prime’
    • ‘it is still very good, but perhaps the site is past its best’
    1. 3.1No longer capable of.
      • ‘he is past giving the best advice’

Pronunciation

past

/past/ /pæst/

adverb

  • 1So as to pass from one side of something to the other.

    ‘large angelfish swim slowly past’
    • ‘She said that from her living room she caught a glimpse of the car going past and then heard the bang.’
    • ‘He was much quicker but could not get past and unfortunately, the time deficit by the time of his first stop was too big to handle.’
    • ‘As the air rushes past it collects small quantities of the solution which are then deposited onto the skin.’
    • ‘As he spoke, a car whistled past with a loudspeaker reminding people it was polling day.’
    • ‘As Chris looked out his window, he saw a small bunny rabbit hop past through the yard.’
    • ‘The defendant was cycling behind her and she stepped to one side to let him past.’
    • ‘As we rode past, a kitten stumbled out of the tall grass into the road.’
    • ‘I knew his timing, so one day I hid in the bushes at the hotel gate and photographed him as he rode past.’
    • ‘Maria had just turned the corner when she spotted Val riding past.’
    • ‘I then had to lie there, for five minutes, as boys on bikes rode past and laughed at me.’
    • ‘We've laughed at a bloke riding past on a bike and almost falling off as he tried to see through our window.’
    • ‘I joined the queue about 15 cars behind him, so it took a good twenty minutes to get past.’
    • ‘Becki pressed her face against the glass window and watched the world go past.’
    • ‘I watch the birds flying past in the sky, I listen to the sound of the oceans coming from the open windows.’
    • ‘We watched as they came past, and then took the shortcut home, up through the sheep field to the Abbey.’
    • ‘All day I have been watching the marchers file past, a few with flags, more with placards, all in a holiday mood.’
    • ‘You can take your potato to a bench or a wall and watch people walk past.’
    • ‘Lone office workers bit into their lunches and watched people walk past, just as I was.’
    • ‘Stopping at a red light, I idly watched a couple walking past, deep in an argument.’
    • ‘Erin McGrath witnessed the aftermath of the crash when she walked past half an hour later.’
    along, by, on
    View synonyms
  • 2Used to indicate the lapse of time.

    • ‘a week went past and nothing changed’

Pronunciation

past

/past/ /pæst/

Phrases

    be past caring
    • Be too tired, annoyed, or unhappy to be concerned about what happens.

      ‘I was long past caring and immediately fell asleep on the bed’
      • ‘I'm past caring who they employ, so long as someone is doing the work’
    not put it past someone
    • Believe someone to be capable of doing something wrong or rash.

      ‘I wouldn't put it past him to slip something into the drinks’
      • ‘Just kidding about that last one-but don't put it past them!’
      • ‘Unless Labour announces a tax-break for publishers in the next Budget (and don't put it past them) this whole row should die down quickly.’
      • ‘He hasn't disappointed himself or me yet, so I don't put it past him to make something happen within a year.’
      • ‘She had been pulling stuff like that since he'd left her, and he didn't put it past her to poison Rose against him.’
      • ‘I certainly didn't put it past her to force herself upon me in the cabin.’
      • ‘And I don't put it past Bremer and his crew to seriously botch this whole thing.’
      • ‘But if a playoff team loses a player or decides it's a rebounder short of being a contender, don't put it past Rodman to make yet another return to his pogo-stick-like career.’
      • ‘I didn't put it past Nathaniel to make her a tool in his vendetta against Thomas.’
      • ‘Amanda was horrified and didn't put it past Emma to do such a thing.’

Origin

Middle English variant of passed, past participle of pass.