past

adjective
\ˈpast \

Definition of past 

(Entry 1 of 4)

1a : 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

Definition of past (Entry 2 of 4)

1a : beyond the age for or of past playing with dolls

b : after half past two

2a : 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

noun

Definition of past (Entry 3 of 4)

1a : time gone by

b : something that happened or was done in the past regret the past

2a : 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

past

adverb

Definition of past (Entry 4 of 4)

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

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Other Words from past

Noun

pastless \ ˈpas(t)-​ləs \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for past

Synonyms: Adjective

erstwhile, former, late, old, once, onetime, other, quondam, sometime, whilom

Synonyms: Preposition

after, après, behind, below, following, next to

Synonyms: Noun

auld lang syne, history, yesterday, yesteryear, yore

Antonyms: Preposition

afore [chiefly dialect], ahead of, before, ere, of, previous to, prior to, to

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Examples of past in a Sentence

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

First, there's Melissa and her three-pound pillow of a neck growth, which has forced her to wear a sweatshirt day and night for the past three years. refinery29.com, "The First Episode Of Dr. Pimple Popper Is A Popaholic's Dream Come True," 12 July 2018 Conway was born and raised in Houston, and has lived for the past 14 years with her family in the Montgomery County/Lake Conroe area, which is also her main focus area. Rebecca Maitland, Houston Chronicle, "Realtor ‘fell in love’ with real estate industry," 8 July 2018 The numbers bolster studies that show California’s sweeping criminal justice reforms of the past seven years, which have sought to keep more lower-level offenders out of jails and prisons, have not fueled violent crime. Evan Sernoffsky, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area homicides plunge to historic lows in first half of 2018," 6 July 2018 One character embeds rose thorns in her feet; several have very disordered eating habits; people die too young, go to war and hold in their cells and minds the memories of past trauma. Ramona Ausubel, New York Times, "Flawed, Fragile, Hungry Human Bodies: A.M. Homes’s Stories Get Under the Skin," 4 July 2018 In years past, garbage removed has ranged from fireworks to glow sticks to underwear to cigarette butts to pacifiers. Joshua Emerson Smith, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Surfrider, volunteers prepare for post-Fourth of July beach cleanup," 3 July 2018 Ahead of this past school year, Cambridge Public Schools had 89 job openings, 44 percent of which were filled by people of color. Story Hinckley, The Christian Science Monitor, "Next up for men of color? A place at the front of the classroom.," 28 June 2018 In January, letters are sent out to past food vendors and past participants, and by the end of May about half of the work is done. Sara Clarkson, chicagotribune.com, "Hinsdale's Fourth of July parade marches through town's history," 20 June 2018 Cannes feels less crowded than years past, and attendees are noticing. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Longer videos are coming to Instagram today," 20 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition

Allen, who originally was drafted in 2010 by the Indians in the 16th round but did not sign, moved past Bob Wickman into the top spot. Roy Parry, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Boone High alum Cody Allen sets Cleveland Indians' career saves mark," 13 July 2018 Thankfully, the Internet has since gotten past that. refinery29.com, "Meghan Markle Isn’t Afraid To Wear The Pants," 11 July 2018 Rather, the work preserves a sliver of the soundtrack of the era, music to fill elegant enclaves while epochs tectonically slid past each other. Matthew Guerrieri, BostonGlobe.com, "Mozart for an era of political machinations," 28 June 2018 Thankfully, the couple has since moved past the incident and have even become closer y’all! Mariah Smith, The Cut, "A Detailed History of Cardi B and Offset’s Tumultuous Relationship," 27 June 2018 Tough and slippery, cartilage cushions the ends of bone, allowing them to glide past each other. Bradley J. Fikes, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Seeking financial security, Scripps Research is taking its science directly to patients," 24 June 2018 Kohan famously used Orange’s white, middle-class lead as a Trojan horse, moving past her story to spotlight the lives of poor, nonwhite, LGBT and mentally ill women who are rarely depicted onscreen. Judy Berman, Time, "Glow Fades But Stays Fun in Its Second Season," 21 June 2018 Dairy trucks rumbled slowly past, carrying organic milk from one of the state’s more than 900 dairy farms. Katie Arnold, Outside Online, "Yes, You Should Move Your Family to Vermont," 20 June 2018 Perisic jumped and from behind raised his left boot over Walker's head to poke the ball past goalkeeper Jordan Pickford from about 7.5 yards for his fourth World Cup goal, including two in this tournament. Ronald Blum, The Christian Science Monitor, "Croatia will make its first-ever appearance in World Cup final," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For the sake of cinema, the cast — ranging from ages 14 to 19 — trotted back to the not-so-distant past, where braces reigned supreme and social currency was the only currency. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "The Stars Of Eighth Grade Relive Their Middle School Horror Stories," 13 July 2018 Everyone from Calvin Harris to Porter Robinson is looking to the past to make bold moves today, and SNBRN is the latest producer to get bit by the old-school bug. Kat Bein, Billboard, "SNBRN Hits Classic House Notes With Harloe on 'If I Can't Have You': Exclusive," 12 July 2018 Since nationalists look selectively to the past in making their case for a different future, the fluctuations of national sentiment are a good starting-point. The Economist, "The siren call of separatism," 12 July 2018 America, increasingly alone among nations, still clings, eyes shut tight, to the dirty past. David Roberts, Vox, "The Netherlands contemplates the world’s toughest climate law," 6 July 2018 In some ways, as the report noted, the atrium idea is a nod to the past, when universities had agricultural and engineering experiment stations with services closer to where people in the state needed them. Jeffrey J. Selingo, Washington Post, "The future of college education: Students for life, computer advisers and campuses everywhere," 6 July 2018 America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future. Solomon Jones, Philly.com, "Not everyone in America is free this Fourth of July | Solomon Jones," 3 July 2018 Only 999 pairs were originally created when the Accelerator was launched, with 1,999 pairs of the new Accelerator Electricity now made as another nod to the past. SI.com, "adidas Launch New Predator Accelator Electricity Inspired By Original 1999 Boots," 3 July 2018 Nameberry predicts that these 100 year old names are poised for a comeback as modern parents try to come up with unique names that pay homage to the past. Melissa Locker, ajc, "These 1918 baby names are due for a comeback," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Several boxy, leather Dolce & Gabbana fall 2018 handbags hanging on drones floated past, eliciting gasps from the audience. Emilia Petrarca, The Cut, "Purse-Carrying Drones Hovered Down the Dolce & Gabbana Runway," 25 Feb. 2018 Consequently, the belt didn’t slide down as the miles ticked past, as happened on other packs. Kelly Bastone, Outside Online, "The Best Women’s Backpacking Packs," 13 July 2018 On Wednesday, Department of Public Safety spokesman Jonathon Taylor said the trooper was traveling in an unmarked patrol car just under the 65 mph speed limit when a car going the opposite direction blew past at about 90 mph. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "As troopers investigate, new details emerge in Seward Highway crash that killed motorcyclist," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'past.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of past

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

History and Etymology for past

Adjective

Middle English, from past participle of passen to pass

Preposition

see past entry 1

Noun

see past entry 1

Adverb

see past entry 1

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Statistics for past

Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for past

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

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More Definitions for past

past

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of past

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: having existed in a time before the present : from, done, or used in an earlier time

—used to refer to a time that has gone by recently

—used to say what someone or something was in the past

English Language Learners Definition of past (Entry 2 of 4)

: at the farther side of (something) : beyond (a particular place)

: up to and beyond (a person or place)

: later than (a time)

past

noun

English Language Learners Definition of past (Entry 3 of 4)

: an earlier time : the time before the present

: the events of a person's life, of a place, etc., before the present time

past

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of past (Entry 4 of 4)

: to and beyond a certain point or time

past

adjective
\ˈpast \

Kids Definition of past

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : of or relating to a time that has gone by I've worked for the past month.

2 : relating to a verb tense that expresses a time gone by

3 : no longer serving a past president

Kids Definition of past (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : beyond entry 2 sense 1 We left at ten minutes past five.

2 : going close to and then beyond She walked past my house.

past

noun

Kids Definition of past (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : a former time In the past trains went from here to New York.

2 : life or history of a time gone by We're studying the nation's past.

past

adverb

Kids Definition of past (Entry 4 of 4)

: so as to pass by or beyond A deer ran past.

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Comments on past

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