in English, the simple past, or an instance or form of a specific verb in the simple past, such as ate or walked.
a verb tense, construction, or form in another language with a meaning similar to that of the simple past in English.
Grammar. designating a verb tense expressing a past action or state.
Archaic. bygone; past.
- pret·er·it·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use preterit in a sentence
The passive voice is formed by joining the participle preterit to the substantive verb, as I am loved.A Grammar of the English Tongue | Samuel Johnson
Our verbs are observed by Dr. Wallis to be irregular only in the formation of the preterit, and its participle.A Grammar of the English Tongue | Samuel Johnson
If did is itself a contraction of doed, the regular preterit, which is probable, whence comes ed in this word?Dissertation on the English Language | Noah Webster, Jr.
Grammarians allege that the termination of the regular preterit tense, ed, is a corruption of did.Dissertation on the English Language | Noah Webster, Jr.
The verbal forms in-ara and-iera were used then as now as the equivalent of the pluperfect or the preterit indicative.Modern Spanish Lyrics | Various