[bahy-gawn, -gon]


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 (north) by-gane; see gone, by1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bygone

Contemporary Examples of bygone

Historical Examples of bygone

  • For instance, no mention has yet been made of the Hermæ of bygone ages.

    The Non-Christian Cross

    John Denham Parsons

  • That is contrary to the observation of philosophers of bygone days.

  • The children were in the habit of calling each other by that means in bygone years.

    The Slave Of The Lamp

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • How clearly and how sharply have all these bygone events been stamped upon my memory!

    A Hero of Our Time

    M. Y. Lermontov

  • He could still hear the laughter of the bygone Salon of the Rejected.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for bygone



(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 bygone

early 15c., from by (adv.) + gone. Cf. similar construction of aforesaid. As a noun from 1560s (see bygones).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper