a tense of verbs used to relate past action, formed in English by inflection of the verb, as jumped, swam
a verb in this tense
denoting this tense
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
How to use preterite in a sentence
Fortunately, they are drawn from a pathetic preterite far beneath the contempt of our cultural elite.
The preterite of the German dialect is formed by adding ium to the imperative, which is always the root of the verb.Carmen | Prosper Merimee
As the usual preterite was heryed (hr-y-ed-e being too cumbrous and almost unpronounceable), there is no error.Chaucer's Works, Volume 6 (of 7) -- Introduction, Glossary, and Indexes | Geoffrey Chaucer
preterite, pret′ėr-it, adj. gone by: past: noting the past tense.
The addition of the sound of t helps to form the Irn preterite.Opuscula | Robert Gordon Latham
In many Bantu dialects the root pa (which means to give) becomes pele in the preterite (no doubt from an original pa-ile).