a verb tense, as in Classical Greek, expressing action or, in the indicative mood, past action, without further limitation or implication.


of or in this tense.

Nearby words

  1. aomori,
  2. aonb,
  3. aor,
  4. aoraki-mount cook,
  5. aorangi,
  6. aoristic,
  7. aorta,
  8. aortalgia,
  9. aortic arch,
  10. aortic arch syndrome

Origin of aorist

1575–85; < Greek aóristos unlimited, equivalent to a- a-6 + (h)oristós limited (*horid- (base of horízein to bound, limit; see horizon) + -tos adj. suffix) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for aorist

British Dictionary definitions for aorist



grammar a tense of the verb in classical Greek and in certain other inflected languages, indicating past action without reference to whether the action involved was momentary or continuousCompare perfect (def. 8), imperfect (def. 4)
Derived Formsaoristic, adjectiveaoristically, adverb

Word Origin for aorist

C16: from Greek aoristos not limited, from a- 1 + horistos restricted, from horizein to define

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 aorist



1580s, the simple past tense of Greek verbs, from Greek aoristos (khronos) "indefinite (tense)," from privative prefix a- "not" (see a- (3)) + horistos "limited, defined," verbal adjective from horizein "to limit, define," from horos "boundary, limit, border" (see horizon).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper