past

1 of 4

adjective

1
a
: ago
12 years past
started working on this project 10 years past
b
: just gone or elapsed
for the past few months
I spoke with him this past weekend.
2
: having existed or taken place in a period before the present : bygone
In past winters, we have had much more snow.
3
: of, relating to, or constituting a verb tense that is expressive of elapsed time and that in English is usually formed by internal vowel change (as in sang) or by the addition of a suffix (as in laughed)
4
: having served as a specified officer in an organization
past president
past champions

past

2 of 4

preposition

1
a
: beyond the age for or of
past playing with dolls
b
: after
half past two
2
a
: at the farther side of : beyond
b
: in a course or direction going close to and then beyond
drove past the house
3
obsolete : more than
4
: beyond the capacity, range, or sphere of
past belief

past

3 of 4

noun

1
a
: time gone by
b
: something that happened or was done in the past
regret the past
2
a
: the past tense of a language
b
: a verb form in the past tense
3
: a past life, history, or course of action
especially : one that is kept secret
pastless adjective

past

4 of 4

adverb

: so as to reach and go beyond a point near at hand
drove past

Example Sentences

Adjective She was hired based on her past experience in sales. a past editor of the newspaper Preposition The office is two blocks past the intersection. Turn left just past the stairs. We drove past the house. I must have walked right past her. He looked past me to the next customer. Noun Past, present, and future are all linked together. The past of “walk” is “walked.” Adverb Several weeks went past before we heard from her. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Kentucky does not have a review panel that looks at past performances and other factors before running, such as California. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, 30 May 2023 In his past three starts, Olson owns a 1.26 ERA with six walks and 22 strikeouts across 14⅓ innings. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 29 May 2023 With Cleveland’s bullpen finishing the shutout, the Orioles have scored one run in their past 17 innings and 11 in 46 innings since striking for eight runs in one frame last week against the New York Yankees. Nathan Ruiz, Baltimore Sun, 29 May 2023 Much of this media takes the form of shows that resemble the political radio programs of years past, anchored by magnetic personalities who have gained significant followings usually through some combination of YouTube, podcasting and, increasingly, TikTok. Jason Abbruzzese, NBC News, 29 May 2023 Susie and Hedy didn’t really solve any of their past issues. Christy Piña, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 May 2023 Byrne and Rogen tell Rolling Stone that they were inspired by past collaborations with director Nicholas Stoller and wanted to create a true comedy that keeps audiences in their seats — a goal that seems to stem from the creator’s exhaustion with dark and dramatic comedies. Ct Jones, Rolling Stone, 28 May 2023 Many canals, waterways and dams built in past decades — centuries even — to calm waters flowing down from the Apennine Mountains have been partly neglected. Elisabetta Povoledo, New York Times, 27 May 2023 In past years, DirecTV’s pricing for the package has been tiered based on fire code occupancy (FCO) rates starting at $650/season for establishments with a certified FCO of 1-100, stepping up to $6,000/season for establishments with capacity of 101-200 and even higher for larger venues. Todd Spangler, Variety, 26 May 2023
Preposition
Overall, the package is a tradeoff that would impose some federal spending reductions for the next two years along with a suspension of the debt limit into January 2025, pushing the volatile political issue past the next presidential election. Scott Mcfetridge And Hannah Fingerhut, Anchorage Daily News, 31 May 2023 Hank had managed to skate past all this stuff and have goons carry out the violent acts that needed to be done to establish a criminal enterprise. Selome Hailu, Variety, 29 May 2023 The Bulls made the playoffs those three season, but never made it past the first round. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 29 May 2023 Biden and Republican McCarthy have seemed to be narrowing on a two-year budget-slashing deal that would also extend the debt limit into 2025 past the next presidential election. Mary Clare Jalonick, Fortune, 27 May 2023 There are quite a few of them located , just past Procter & Gamble on TK. Keith Pandolfi, The Enquirer, 27 May 2023 The 2022 season ended with a quick exit from the SEC tournament, the end of a 44-game winning streak in the NCAA regionals, and the school’s first time failing to advance past a regional since 2004. Mike Rodak | Mrodak@al.com, al, 26 May 2023 Another day of cruising will bring you past the stunning coves and limestone bluffs between Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake – a view best enjoyed from the balcony of your stateroom. Stacey Zable, Travel + Leisure, 25 May 2023 How to protect your investments in the debt ceiling standoff Experts assume that even if the United States briefly goes past the X-date, it will be resolved quickly and the government will make good on its obligations, CNN reported. Ramishah Maruf, CNN, 24 May 2023
Noun
Old famed sketches of the superhero, different artistic styles from the comic’s past and even just funny variants like a Spider-Rex (a Tyrannosaurus Rex that’s actually Spider-Man) all interact in a web-shooting world. Amanda Luberto, The Arizona Republic, 31 May 2023 Advertisement Erdogan’s need to stabilize the economy is likely to result in a foreign policy less turbulent than in the recent past, as Turkey relied on short-term cash flows from countries such as Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Kareem Fahim, Washington Post, 29 May 2023 The two candidates offered sharply different visions of the country’s future, and its recent past. Suzan Fraser And Zeynep Bilginsoy, BostonGlobe.com, 28 May 2023 Volvo is heading to a fully electric future, but the company's new single-motor EV powertrain shares an obvious link with the brand's past. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 25 May 2023 O’Neal hasn’t totally abandoned his past as an emcee. Heather Bushman, The Indianapolis Star, 25 May 2023 Alternatively, the attacks may be a response to a bad past experience involving a boat. Stephanie Pappas, Scientific American, 24 May 2023 This, as the museum's CEO is keen to point out, is part of the city's bigger mission to tackle its past honestly and unflinchingly. Jonathan Thompson, Travel + Leisure, 24 May 2023 The senior drove toward the goal and fended off multiple Glenelg defenders, tucking the shot past goalie Emily Altshuler. Jacob Steinberg, Baltimore Sun, 15 May 2023
Adverb
The magazine's fiction editor, Deborah Treisman, welcomes literary acolytes from Margaret Atwood to David Sedaris on the show to read and discuss short stories from issues past. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, 18 May 2023 Pushing past that threshold causes excess anxiety, undermining performance. Matt Fuchs, Fortune Well, 14 May 2023 Department officials have said the remark was caught on the body camera of another officer who happened to be walking past and was discovered during a subsequent review of video from the incident. Libor Jany, Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2023 As the glaciers of the north expanded and melted in eons past, the Florida peninsula emerged and submerged. Chuck Lehmann, Sun Sentinel, 20 Apr. 2023 The video presentation had fellow Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike Breen, NBA commissioner Adam Silver, and Suns greats past and present — Charles Barkley, Steve Nash and Devin Booker — express heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for him. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 9 Apr. 2023 Geography and even language are also viewed as boundaries to be looked past or overcome in country. Chris Willman, Variety, 10 Mar. 2023 Meanwhile, people on appropriate tires are simply driving past, while dodging other cars that are disabled completely. Wes Siler, Outside Online, 9 Mar. 2023 Residents wrote of meeting Carter in the front yard at the home of Janet and Paul Olson, or just walking past and seeing him on the front porch. oregonlive, 26 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'past.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective, Preposition, Noun, and Adverb

Middle English, from past participle of passen to pass

First Known Use

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Preposition

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

1799, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of past was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near past

Cite this Entry

“Past.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/past. Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition

past

1 of 4 adjective
1
a
: ago
10 years past
b
: just gone by
for the past few months
2
: having existed or taken place in a period before the present
past customs
3
: of, relating to, or being a verb tense that in English is usually formed by internal vowel change (as in sang) or by the addition of a suffix (as in laughed) and that expresses time gone by
4
: no longer serving
a past president

past

2 of 4 preposition
1
: beyond entry 2 sense 1
past 50 years old
half past ten
2
: in a course by and then beyond
the road goes past the house

past

3 of 4 noun
1
: a former time or event
2
b
: a verb form in the past tense
3
: a past life or history
especially : a past life that is secret or questionable

past

4 of 4 adverb
: so as to pass by
a deer ran past

More from Merriam-Webster on past

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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