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, behind, below, following, next to

Synonyms: Noun

auld lang syne, history, yesterday, yesteryear, yore

Antonyms: Preposition

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

For Sato, Friday's P2 was yet another step forward in what has been an outstanding past four weeks. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Scott Dixon climbs back atop IndyCar mountain as Hondas dominate Day 1 in Toronto," 13 July 2018 If past performance is an indicator, then Nadal should be preparing for a trip to the semifinals. Sandra Harwitt, USA TODAY, "Rafael Nadal has big advantage vs. Juan Martin del Potro in Wimbledon quarterfinals," 10 July 2018 Connelly and Kramer were among the favorites entering the race based on past performances and success this year. Matt Tunseth, Anchorage Daily News, "Connelly, Kramer cruise to Mount Marathon junior victories," 4 July 2018 Teams dish out big numbers for past performance, often time to aging unrestricted free agents. Matthew Defranks, Sun-Sentinel.com, "After NHL draft, Panthers aim 'to sit tight and be patient' in upcoming free agency," 24 June 2018 After bringing besties including Selena Gomez, Troye Sivan and Shawn Mendes to the stage during past performances, the singer was joined by Niall Horan during her Friday (June 22) show in London. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Niall Horan Joins Taylor Swift on Her "Reputation" Tour in London," 23 June 2018 The first: Rank among the top 100 to top 105 players in the world, based on a nuanced computation of past performances in other big-name tennis events, including the other Grand Slams. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Everything You Need to Know About Wimbledon 2018—Including How to Watch," 21 June 2018 For five days in a Chicago church, thousands of people streamed past. Mary Schmich, chicagotribune.com, "The painful and necessary growth Emmett Till gave us," 13 July 2018 Libra energy slices through the muck of feelings to elevate our perspective and aerate past patterning. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Weekly Horoscopes July 16-22," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition

Here's a recent selfie pic from the celeb to compare and contrast: Kardashian West has never been afraid to reflect on her fashion and beauty blunders of years past in good humor. Lindsey V Thompson, Allure, "Kim Kardashian West Shares a Throwback Picture Minus Her Hair Extensions and Fake Lashes," 13 July 2018 But this much is certain: In years past, picking a CEO without any real connection to the Olympic movement might have been seen as disastrous for the USOC. Christine Brennan, USA TODAY, "Beleaguered USOC chooses fresh start in its pick for CEO," 12 July 2018 The Cardinals cruised past Virginia last season, 38-21, but the Cavaliers have played them tough in the past, especially two years ago in Charlottesville. Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "How Louisville football can (and can't) beat Virginia," 5 July 2018 His points of comparison aren't other All-NBA bigs, but Warriors starting centers past—the Kevon Looneys, the JaVale McGees, and the Zaza Pachulias. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "Facing a Harsh Free-Agency Reality, DeMarcus Cousins Embraces the Absurd," 3 July 2018 Peckinpaugh said residents struggling to pay their bills can seek help through the Water Residential Assistance Program, which helps pay down past-due accounts and allows customers to get up to $1,000 per year in assistance to make plumbing repairs. Katrease Stafford, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit halts water shutoffs in temporary moratorium," 2 July 2018 In the past, to avoid judges having to award their own work, the committee was pop producers past their prime. Rob Schwartz, Billboard, "Lala Hsu, Eggplant Egg Among the Big Winners at 29th Golden Melody Awards," 27 June 2018 The issue extends further past the news of a possible engagement. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "A "SelenaIsFreeParty" Hashtag Trended on Twitter After News Broke About Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin's Engagement," 9 July 2018 So, whatever treatment, including placement in a corrections facility, is assigned could extend past a suspect's 18th birthday. Dakota Crawford, Indianapolis Star, "Noblesville shooting: Here's what could happen next for the suspect," 18 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Kylie has been compared to her sisters many times in the past. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Kylie Jenner Looks Exactly like Khloé Kardashian in This Instagram Pic," 11 July 2018 The two have a similar skill-set, and that skill-set has meshed well with Cam Newton’s game in the past. Steven Ruiz, For The Win, "10 fantasy football sleepers we're irrationally excited about in 2018," 10 July 2018 That, rightly, will merit a thorough investigation into Simmons’s past by NFL teams. Albert Breer, SI.com, "Who Are the Defensive Linemen Expected to Dominate the 2019 NFL Draft?," 12 July 2018 But these incidents, combined with others in McCoy’s past, paint the picture of, at the very least, a man who struggles to resolve conflict with civility. Marcus Hayes, Philly.com, "Since I was asked: LeSean McCoy handled his issues with me aggressively | Marcus Hayes," 11 July 2018 Despite Clinton’s past, his aides were nonetheless shocked by his recklessness. Neil Swidey, BostonGlobe.com, "How Democrats would be better off if Bill Clinton had never been president," 10 July 2018 Flick past finance and governance rules and stop at the section on youth teams. Rob Harris, The Seattle Times, "Enforced development helps give Europe a grip on World Cup," 10 July 2018 Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer, isn’t there to talk about the ghosts of Surface’s past, or even the present. Lauren Goode, WIRED, "Surface Go Is Microsoft’s Big Bet on a Tiny-Computer Future," 9 July 2018 About the owner: Ed Wolowiec, who lives in Lake Barrington, is a past chairman of the Illinois Restaurant Association. Shonda Talerico Dudlicek, Elgin Courier-News, "Guide to outdoor dining in Chicago suburbs: Port Edward in Algonquin," 7 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

And some children, somehow, move past a sudden separation from their parents, tapping a well of resilience. Benedict Carey, New York Times, "A Troubling Prognosis for Migrant Children in Detention: ‘The Earlier They’re Out, the Better’," 18 June 2018 Kat's all about 90s dance jams, so great ready to push the volume all the way up on your ipod, and push past the toughest part of your workout! Neha Gandhi, Seventeen, "Celeb Workout Playlist of the Week: Kat Graham," 9 May 2011 Friday highs head for the low-to-mid 90s, with Saturday and Sunday highs aiming for the mid-90s as the heat index climbs near or past 100. Dan Stillman, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: More humid today with a few showers; watching weekend heat blast," 27 June 2018 So come on down, and revel in the fact that this year's Jazz Fest has not been muddy and rainy like in some years past, as shown in this collection of photos. Diana Samuels, NOLA.com, "New Orleans Jazz Fest: See photos from 1st Sunday on the Fair Grounds," 29 Apr. 2018 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 Burns posed for a photo next to the likeness, then rode to team headquarters, past all the Steelers signage, and stopped to ogle the Super Bowl trophies behind the glass on the second floor. Greg Bishop, SI.com, "‘It’s All About No. 50’: The Steelers Defense Rallies for Ryan Shazier," 9 Jan. 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

12 Oct 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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