[pas-tahym, pahs-]


something that serves to make time pass agreeably; a pleasant means of amusement, recreation, or sport: to play cards as a pastime.

Origin of pastime

1480–90; earlier pas(s)e tyme, translation of Middle French passe-temps

Synonyms for pastime Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pastime

Contemporary Examples of pastime

Historical Examples of pastime

  • The wooing on Shakespeare's side was nothing but pastime, though it led to marriage.

  • Discussion was, indeed, a pastime in which the major never indulged.

    Roden's Corner

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • Mr. Dowling should have found other forms of exercise and pastime.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • They were trailing a hot scent, a pastime as well as a work that was their life.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • The one is a pastime; the other”––he paused and caught his breath––“a passion!

    The Strollers

    Frederic S. Isham

British Dictionary definitions for pastime



an activity or entertainment which makes time pass pleasantlygolf is my favourite pastime

Word Origin for pastime

C15: from pass + time, on the model of French passe-temps
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 pastime

late 15c., passe tyme "recreation, diversion, amusement, sport," from pass (v.) + time (n.). Formed on model of Middle French passe-temps (15c.), from passe, imperative of passer "to pass" + temps "time."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper