past progressive

noun Grammar. (in English)
  1. a verb form consisting of an auxiliary be in the past tense followed by a present participle and used especially to indicate that an action or event was incomplete or in progress at a point of reference in the past, as was sleeping in I was sleeping when the phone rang.
Also called past continuous.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018