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

The overall tenor appears to be more serious this year, compared with past editions, dealers said. Kelly Crow, WSJ, "At Miami’s Art Fairs, a Somber Mood Sets In," 1 Dec. 2018 In an ongoing series that warps past and future, the 38-year-old artist reimagines touchstones of pop culture (remote controls, Spalding basketballs, a full-scale DeLorean out of Back to the Future) as archaeological relics. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "Only 500 of This Artist’s Space Kit Candle Are Up for Grabs—And They’re Totally Worth the Hype," 30 Nov. 2018 The track starts off quietly enough, with players racing through checkpoints and past enemy NPCs who seem as oblivious to the action as armadillos on Texas roads. Leif Johnson, PCWorld, "Check out this exclusive look at Guild Wars 2's jaw-dropping Infernal Leap roller beetle track," 26 Nov. 2018 Additionally, more than two dozen company employees, past and present, detailed incidents of harassment, gender discrimination or retaliation at CBS, the report said. Fox News, "Sharon Osbourne tweets support for 'friends' Leslie Moonves and Julie Chen," 2 Oct. 2018 Annovera specifically isn’t recommended for people with certain health conditions, like hepatitis, a current or past history of breast cancer, and those with a high risk for arterial or venous thrombotic diseases. Korin Miller, SELF, "A Birth Control Ring You Can Use for a Whole Year Is Now FDA-Approved," 14 Aug. 2018 Throw in an off-season of 2½ months – compared to six weeks the past two years – and the Sounders may head in to 2019 as the odds-on favorite for the Supporters’ Shield. Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times, "Sounders GM Garth Lagerwey prepares for longer offseason after fans sign off on retaining him," 13 Nov. 2018 Trump won battleground Ohio in 2016 by 8 percentage points, and the state has had a Republican governor for roughly 23 of the past 27 years. Joseph Weber, Fox News, "In Ohio, Trump touts GOP tax cuts ahead of key primaries next week," 2 Oct. 2018 The catch, if there is one, is that Microsoft’s Windows 10 October 2018 Update won’t add many new features compared to years past. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Windows 10 October 2018 Update launch could occur during Surface event," 26 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition

Randy Strapazon, a longtime member of the club and past board member, was chair of the event. Jane Napier Neely, latimes.com, "The Valley Line: She has unbridled enthusiasm for June LCF Chamber of Commerce mixer," 25 June 2018 Over the past few years, Blizzard climbed quite the corpse-laden mountain to get this dungeon-crawling game past its troubled 2012 launch. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Diablo III leads our list of older games born anew on Nintendo Switch," 2 Nov. 2018 When Your Ex Starts Dating Again - YOUTUBE ONLY Get past the first gatekeeper. Malaika Jabali, Glamour, "'Hiring Bots' Might Be Responsible For You Getting Your Dream Job—Here’s How to Use Them to Your Advantage," 22 Oct. 2018 Trump and his top diplomat, Mike Pompeo, are trying to get past the deadlock that has followed the Singapore summit. Fox News, "Trump says he believes nuclear deal with N.Korea possible," 28 Sep. 2018 The New Horizons spacecraft flew past the two bodies almost three years ago, but scientists are still exploring the wealth of data the mission produced. Meghan Bartels, Space.com, "Pluto and Charon Shine in Most Detailed Topographical Maps Ever," 12 July 2018 Neither starting pitcher recorded a 1-2-3 inning or made it past the fourth. Sun-Sentinel.com, "Realmuto, Dietrich each reach five times, Marlins pound 22 hits to avoid 4-game Nats sweep," 8 July 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Google has often been very slow to adopt Windows changes in the past. Tom Warren, The Verge, "Google’s Chrome browser will get better because of Microsoft," 6 Dec. 2018 Pete Davidson, who has been open about his mental health and suicidal ideation in the past, took to Instagram to stand up to online bullies. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande Addressed Pete Davidson's Return to Instagram to Stand Up to Bullying," 4 Dec. 2018 These concerns have given would-be buyers of Tesaro pause in the past. Kimberly Chin, WSJ, "GlaxoSmithKline to Acquire Tesaro for $4.16 Billion," 3 Dec. 2018 In the past, Apple has produced legacy models for select markets where there is enough demand for those devices, the person familiar with Apple’s sales and production tactics said. Takashi Mochizuki, WSJ, "Not so Big in Japan: Apple Cuts Price of iPhone XR to Boost Sales," 22 Nov. 2018 And yet her latest switch-up puts all of that in the past with Hathaway embracing an entirely unexpected new shade: deepest, dramatic crimson. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Anne Hathaway Says Hello to Shocking Red Hair—and Goodbye to Girl-Next-Door Brunette," 21 Nov. 2018 The city is expected to give Amazon up to $15 million over seven years, dependent on the exact number of jobs created, while the state will shell over another $87 million—far less in incentives than what has been doled out in the past. Cari Wade Gervin, Curbed, "Will Amazon be good for Nashville?," 21 Nov. 2018 In the past, Singapore had a habit of paving paradise to put up megamalls. Laura Dannen Redman, Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Do in Singapore: The (Mini) Black Book," 14 Nov. 2018 Allan Fung, the current mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island, has been endorsed by the NRA in the past and often remains silent on gun reform. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Gun Control Measures in the Midterms: How You Can Make a Difference With Your Vote," 30 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

As Chattuporn explained various customs to us, young monks in training, no more than 10 years old, strolled past silently in orange robes. David Amsden, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Bespoke River Cruise Through the Golden Triangle," 19 Nov. 2018 With her hair pinned up, rectangular earrings, and a thick layer of winged liner Swift veered worlds away from her past good girl image, but this isn’t her first time in Balmain. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Are You Ready for the New Taylor Swift?," 9 Oct. 2018 Forced to either hide in shame or accept her past, Alice makes the right decision, as seen above. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Everything That Happened On "Riverdale" Season 2," 8 Oct. 2018 Following Ford's testimony, the battle over Kavanaugh reached another peak as the Senate voted 51-49 on Friday to push past a procedural hurdle and advance his appointment. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Brett Kavanaugh Has Been Confirmed to the Supreme Court," 6 Oct. 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 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

7 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on past

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with past

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for past

Spanish Central: Translation of past

Nglish: Translation of past for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of past for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about past

Comments on past

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