View synonyms for ago


[ uh-goh ]


  1. gone; gone by; past (usually preceded by a noun):

    five days ago.


  1. in past time; in the past:

    All this happened long ago.


/ əˈɡəʊ /


  1. in the past

    long ago

    five years ago

“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

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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
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Word History and Origins

Origin of ago1

before 1000; Middle English ago ( n ), Old English āgān, past participle of āgān to go by, pass, equivalent to ā- a- 3 + gān to go 1
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Word History and Origins

Origin of ago1

C14 ago, from Old English āgān to pass away
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Example Sentences

However, you may have approved a permission without giving it much thought, or granted an app access to certain data long ago, and now you’ve changed your mind.

A while I ago I ran such an analysis comparing some well-known authorities in the medical space to some sites notorious for being a bit spammy and so forth.

They say the board long ago legally delegated that responsibility to its executive, and that there was nothing unusual about the severances.

Scientists suspect long ago crocodiles lived in one region before spreading out to others.

Not too long ago, Bing documented its search ranking factors at a very high level.

Why would “they” want to crush him just for attempting to buy something twenty years ago?

The rebels though seemed somewhat chastened by the result despite more than doubling the anti-Boehner votes from two years ago.

Decades ago, the writer-director wrote an episode of the animated comedy that never was.

The Daily Beast has followed some of the refugees who landed in Sicily a month ago.

This was nine fewer than what he needed just two years ago when 426 members of the House voted.

Ages back—let musty geologists tell us how long ago—'twas a lake, larger than the Lake of Geneva.

Was he really condemned to an eternal solitude because of the girl who had died so many years ago?

Four years ago Hetton's horse had been first favourite, but it was ignominiously beaten.

Fern cases were very much in vogue some years ago, and this is really a very delightful way of cultivating the plants.

"That is why I told you the other meeting seemed a long time ago," explained the girl.


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More About Ago

What does ago mean?

Ago means in the past.

It’s always used in combination with other words that indicate exactly or about how much time has passed since something happened—never by itself (you wouldn’t say That happened ago).

Examples of such phrases are three weeks ago, an hour ago, five days ago, long ago, and a long time ago.

Example: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away ….

Where does ago come from?

Ago entered English long ago, before the year 1000. It comes from the Old English word āgān, meaning “to go by” or “to pass.” It uses the prefix a-, which is added to verbs to indicate the start or end of an action (as in arise). The go part comes from the same word that gave us the English verb go.

Ago is so common that we can take it for granted, but there’s no simpler way to say what it says. With just three letters, it acts as a time machine, taking us from the present to the past. How far back it takes us is determined by the words that it follows, from one second ago to billions of years ago to long, long ago.

Long ago is just one of the many common phrases that ago appears in, and it can also be used as a noun (as in In the long ago, we hunted and foraged for food) or a compound adjective (as in These monuments were built by long-ago civilizations).

Sometimes, ago is followed by the word today, as in nine years ago today, indicating that something happened exactly on this date nine years in the past.

Ago should not be confused with the noun phrase a go, as in The plan is a go (meaning that it has been approved) or Give it a go (meaning “try it”).

And, we’re sorry to point this out, but ago is one of those common words that starts to sound strange when you repeat it a bunch of times. Go on, give it a go.

Did you know … ?

What are some words that share a root or word element with ago

What are some words that often get used in discussing ago?

How is ago used in real life?

Ago is an extremely common word that’s used in all kinds of contexts.

Try using ago!

Is ago used correctly in the following sentence?

“You should stop living ago and start living in the present.”




Agnus Deiagog