past: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (past, päst), [key]
— adj.
  1. gone by or elapsed in time: It was a bad time, but it's all past now.
  2. of, having existed in, or having occurred during a time previous to the present; bygone: the past glories of the Incas.
  3. gone by just before the present time; just passed: during the past year.
  4. ago: six days past.
  5. having formerly been or served as; previous; earlier: three past presidents of the club.
  6. designating a tense, or other verb formation or construction, that refers to events or states in time gone by.
  1. the time gone by: He could remember events far back in the past.
  2. the history of a person, nation, etc.: our country's glorious past.
  3. what has existed or has happened at some earlier time: Try to forget the past, now that your troubles are over.
  4. the events, phenomena, conditions, etc., that characterized an earlier historical period: That hat is something out of the past.
  5. an earlier period of a person's life, career, etc., that is thought to be of a shameful or embarrassing nature: When he left prison, he put his past behind him.
    1. the past tense, as he ate, he smoked.
    2. another verb formation or construction with past meaning.
    3. a form in the past tense.
  1. so as to pass by or beyond; by: The troops marched past.
  1. beyond in time; later than; after: past noon; half past six.
  2. beyond in space or position; farther on than: the house just past the church.
  3. in a direction so as to pass by or go beyond: We went past the house by mistake.
  4. beyond in amount, number, etc.: past the maximum age for enlisting in the army.
  5. beyond the reach, scope, influence, or power of: He is past hope of recovery.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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