gone; gone by; past (usually preceded by a noun): five days ago.


in past time; in the past: All this happened long ago.

Origin of ago

before 1000; Middle English ago(n), Old English āgān, past participle of āgān to go by, pass, equivalent to ā- a-3 + gān to go1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for ago

back, before, gone, since

Examples from the Web for ago

Contemporary Examples of ago

Historical Examples of ago

  • What did you mean, then--a little while ago--in the armoury?


    William J. Locke

  • A while ago I thought to have been as eager for flight as you are.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • Remember what we said a little while ago, about fancy and spontaneous affections.

  • It's a great while ago, but I remember it as well as if it was yesterday.

  • "You spoke a while ago as if you didn't trust him implicitly," she said.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

British Dictionary definitions for ago



in the pastfive years ago; long ago

Word Origin for ago

C14 ago, from Old English āgān to pass away


The use of ago with since (it's ten years ago since he wrote the novel) is redundant and should be avoided: it is ten years since he wrote the novel
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 ago

early 14c., shortened form of Old English agan, agone "departed, passed away," past participle of an obsolete verb ago "to go forth," formed from a- "away" (perhaps here used as an intensive prefix) + gan "go" (see go (v.)). Agone remains a dialectal variant.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper