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- past; gone by; earlier; former: The faded photograph brought memories of bygone days.
- Usually bygones. that which is past: Let's not talk of bygones.
- let bygones be bygones, to decide to forget past disagreements; become reconciled: Let's let bygones be bygones and be friends again.
Origin of bygone
1375–1425; late Middle English
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for let bygones be bygones
- (usually prenominal) past; former
- (often plural) a past occurrence
- (often plural) an artefact, implement, etc, of former domestic or industrial use, now often collected for interest
- let bygones be bygones to agree to forget past quarrels
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for let bygones be bygones
early 15c., from by (adv.) + gone. Cf. similar construction of aforesaid. As a noun from 1560s (see bygones).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
let bygones be bygones in Culture
Let past offenses and problems stay in the past; don't let them taint the present.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Idioms and Phrases with let bygones be bygones
let bygones be bygones
What's done is done; don't worry about the past, especially past errors or grievances. For example, Bill and Tom shook hands and agreed to let bygones be bygones. [First half of 1600s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.