• synonyms


or pret·er·ite

noun Grammar.
  1. past(def 12).
  2. a preterit tense.
  3. a verb form in this tense.
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  1. Grammar. noting a past action or state.
  2. Archaic. bygone; past.
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Origin of preterit

1300–50; Middle English < Latin praeteritus past, past participle of praeterīre to go by, equivalent to praeter- preter- + -i-, base of īre to go + -tus past participle suffix; as tense name < Latin (tempus) praeteritum
Related formspret·er·it·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for preterit

Historical Examples

  • Voi is the root of a verb which has a preterit in voita 'he was old.'

    Diego Collado's Grammar of the Japanese Language

    Diego Collado

  • Its preterit is saiguitta and its gerund in Do is saiguitte.

  • The present tense of each of them is in origin a preterit, in function a present.

  • In life, as in (that for him more truly actual thing) literature, it was always the preterit that enthralled him.

    And Even Now

    Max Beerbohm

  • I go come' means 'I shall go'; or, to mention the preterit, 'I go earlier' means 'I went.'