View synonyms for past


[ past ]


  1. gone by or elapsed in time:

    It was a bad time, but it's all past now.

  2. of, having existed in, or having occurred during a time previous to the present; bygone:

    the past glories of the Incas.

  3. gone by just before the present time; just passed:

    during the past year.

  4. ago:

    six days past.

  5. having formerly been or served as; previous; earlier:

    three past presidents of the club.

  6. Grammar. designating a tense, or other verb formation or construction, that refers to events or states in time gone by.


  1. the time gone by:

    He could remember events far back in the past.

  2. the history of a person, nation, etc.:

    our country's glorious past.

  3. what has existed or has happened at some earlier time:

    Try to forget the past, now that your troubles are over.

  4. the events, phenomena, conditions, etc., that characterized an earlier historical period:

    That hat is something out of the past.

  5. an earlier period of a person's life, career, etc., that is thought to be of a shameful or embarrassing nature:

    When he left prison, he put his past behind him.

  6. Grammar. past tense.


  1. so as to pass by or beyond; by:

    The troops marched past.


  1. beyond in time; later than; after:

    past noon;

    half past six.

  2. beyond in space or position; farther on than:

    the house just past the church.

  3. in a direction so as to pass by or go beyond:

    We went past the house by mistake.

  4. beyond in amount, number, etc.:

    past the maximum age for enlisting in the army.

  5. beyond the reach, scope, influence, or power of:

    He is past hope of recovery.


/ pɑːst /


  1. completed, finished, and no longer in existence

    past happiness

  2. denoting or belonging to all or a segment of the time that has elapsed at the present moment

    the past history of the world

  3. denoting a specific unit of time that immediately precedes the present one

    the past month

  4. prenominal denoting a person who has held and relinquished an office or position; former

    a past president

  5. grammar denoting any of various tenses of verbs that are used in describing actions, events, or states that have been begun or completed at the time of utterance Compare aorist imperfect perfect


  1. the past
    the period of time or a segment of it that has elapsed

    forget the past

  2. the history, experience, or background of a nation, person, etc

    a soldier with a distinguished past

  3. an earlier period of someone's life, esp one that contains events kept secret or regarded as disreputable
  4. grammar
    1. a past tense
    2. a verb in a past tense


  1. at a specified or unspecified time before the present; ago

    three years past

  2. on or onwards

    I greeted him but he just walked past


  1. beyond in time

    it's past midnight

  2. beyond in place or position

    the library is past the church

  3. moving beyond; in a direction that passes

    he walked past me

  4. beyond or above the reach, limit, or scope of

    his foolishness is past comprehension

  5. beyond or above in number or amount

    to count past ten

  6. past it informal.
    unable to perform the tasks one could do when one was younger
  7. not put it past someone
    to consider someone capable of (the action specified)
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The past participle of pass is sometimes wrongly spelt past: the time for recriminations has passed (not past )
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Word History and Origins

Origin of past1

First recorded in 1250–1300; from Middle English, variant spelling of passed, past participle of pass
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Word History and Origins

Origin of past1

C14: from passed, past participle of pass
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Idioms and Phrases

  • live in (the past)
  • not put something past someone
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Example Sentences

Tools built on machine learning can decode and learn from trends, suggest actions based on history and past experiences, and provide accurate analytics to help you develop strategies and take actions that yield.

If your rankings changed in the past 24-hours or so, it might be related to this change.

Perhaps the NFL can begin to address its segregated past by naming players who were kept out of the league because of their skin color, such as Kenny Washington, to the Hall of Fame.

The institute provided “detailed descriptions of the center’s research both present and past on all projects involving bats and coronaviruses and more advanced projects,” Embarek said.

Even though his bus route took him past closed and boarded-up businesses every day, he finally recognized the magnitude of the loss that had been accumulating all around him.

In their past calls for attacks on Western targets, AQAP has focused on putting bombs on planes, not revenge attacks.

In the middle of all of that past suffering and present-day conflict, this Cosby bomb was dropped.

I gotta say—I think this past year was pretty bad for music.

Many of those who have become cops in New York seem to have ceased to address such minor offenses over the past few days.

RELATED: NYPD Salutes Murdered Officer Wenjian Liu (Photos) Police motorcycles rumbled past.

Truth is a torch, but one of enormous size; so that we slink past it in rather a blinking fashion for fear it should burn us.

Within the past thirty years civilization has rapidly taken possession of this lovely region.

Without the former quality, knowledge of the past is uninstructive; without the latter, it is deceptive.

And I finished all with a brief historical account of affairs and events in England for about a hundred years past.

Venice is a City of the Past, and wears her faded yet queenly robes more gracefully by night than by day.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.