What does past mean?

Definitions for past
pæst, pɑstpast

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word past.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. past, past times, yesteryearnoun

    the time that has elapsed

    "forget the past"

  2. pastnoun

    a earlier period in someone's life (especially one that they have reason to keep secret)

    "reporters dug into the candidate's past"

  3. past, past tenseadjective

    a verb tense that expresses actions or states in the past

  4. pastadjective

    earlier than the present time; no longer current

    "time past"; "his youth is past"; "this past Thursday"; "the past year"

  5. past(a), preceding(a), retiring(a)adverb

    of a person who has held and relinquished a position or office

    "a retiring member of the board"

  6. by, pastadverb

    so as to pass a given point

    "every hour a train goes past"


  1. pastnoun

    The period of time that has already happened, in contrast to the present and the future.

  2. pastnoun

    The past tense.

  3. pastadverb

    in a direction that passes

    I watched him walk past

  4. pastadjective

    Having already happened; in the past; finished.

    past glories

  5. pastadjective

    Following expressions of time to indicate how long ago something happened; ago.

  6. pastadjective

    Of a period of time: having just gone by; previous.

    during the past year

  7. pastadjective

    Of a tense, expressing action that has already happened or a previously-existing state.

    past tense

  8. pastpreposition

    beyond in place, quantity or time

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Pastnoun

    Elliptically used for past time.

    The past is all by death possest,
    And frugal fate that guards the rest,
    By giving bids us live to-day. Elijah Fenton.

  2. Pastparticipial adj.

    Etymology: from pass.

    Past, and to come, seem best; things present worst. William Shakespeare.

    For several months past, papers have been written upon the best publick principle, the love of our country. Jonathan Swift.

    This not alone has shone on ages past,
    But lights the present, and shall warm the last. Alexander Pope.

    A life of glorious labours past. Alexander Pope.

  3. Pastpreposition.

    Sarah was delivered of a child, when she was past age. Hebrews xi. 11.

    Fervent prayers he made, when he was esteemed past sense, and so spent his last breath in committing his soul unto the Almighty. John Hayward.

    We must not
    Prostitute our past cure malady
    To empiricks. William Shakespeare, All’s well that ends well.

    What’s gone, and what’s past help,
    Should be past grief. William Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale.

    Many men have not yet sinned themselves past all sense or feeling, but have some regrets; and when their spirits are at any time disturbed with the sense of their guilt, they are for a little time more watchful over their ways; but they are soon disheartened. Edmund Calamy, Sermons.

    Love, when once past government, is consequently past shame. Roger L'Estrange.

    Her life she might have had; but the despair
    Of saving his, had put it past her care. Dryden.

    I’m stupify’d with sorrow, past relief
    Of tears. Dryden.

    That the bare receiving a sum should sink a man into a servile state, is past my comprehension. Jeremy Collier, on Pride.

    That he means paternal power, is past doubt from the inference he makes. John Locke.

    We will go by the king’s high way, until we be past thy borders. Numbers xxi. 22.

    The northern Irish Scots have bows not past three quarters of a yard long, with a string of wreathed hemp and their arrows not much above an ell. Edmund Spenser, on Ireland.

    The same inundation was not deep, not past forty foot from the ground. Francis Bacon.


  1. Past

    The past is the set of all events that occurred before a given point in time. The past is contrasted with and defined by the present and the future. The concept of the past is derived from the linear fashion in which human observers experience time, and is accessed through memory and recollection. In addition, human beings have recorded the past since the advent of written language. The first known use of the word "past" was in the fourteenth century; it developed as the past participle of the middle English verb passen meaning "to pass."


  1. past

    The term "past" generally refers to a time that has already occurred, which is in contrast to the present or future. It encompasses events, experiences, or actions that have taken place prior to the current moment. The past typically refers to a period of time that is no longer happening or accessible in the present.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Past

    of or pertaining to a former time or state; neither present nor future; gone by; elapsed; ended; spent; as, past troubles; past offences

  2. Pastnoun

    a former time or state; a state of things gone by

  3. Past

    beyond, in position, or degree; further than; beyond the reach or influence of

  4. Past

    beyond, in time; after; as, past the hour

  5. Past

    above; exceeding; more than

  6. Pastadverb

    by; beyond; as, he ran past

  7. Etymology: [From Pass, v.]


  1. Past

    The past is a term used to indicate the totality of events which occurred before a given point in time. The past is contrasted with and defined by the present and the future. The concept of the past is derived from the linear fashion in which human observers experience time, and is accessed through memory and recollection. In addition, human beings have recorded the past since the advent of written language. The past is the object of such fields as history, archaeology, archaeoastronomy, chronology, geology, historical geology, historical linguistics, law, ontology, paleontology, paleobotany, paleoethnobotany, palaeogeography, paleoclimatology, and cosmology.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Past

    past, pa.p. of Pass.—adj. gone by: elapsed: ended: now retired from service: in time already passed.—prep. farther than: out of reach of: no longer capable of.—adv. by.—The past, that which has passed, esp. time.

Suggested Resources

  1. PAST

    What does PAST stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the PAST acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. PAST

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Past is ranked #113791 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Past surname appeared 154 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Past.

    92.2% or 142 total occurrences were White.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'past' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1133

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'past' in Written Corpus Frequency: #521

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'past' in Nouns Frequency: #552

  4. Adverbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'past' in Adverbs Frequency: #285

  5. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'past' in Adjectives Frequency: #138

Anagrams for past »

  1. APTS

  2. pats

  3. spat

  4. stap

  5. taps

How to pronounce past?

How to say past in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of past in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of past in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of past in a Sentence

  1. Meghan Markle:

    I often find, and especially in this past year, I think so many of us realized how much happens in the quiet, it was definitely moments like that, watching them from out of the window and watching [my husband] just, you know, rock him to sleep or carry him or, you know ... those lived experiences, from my observation, are the things that I infused in this poem.

  2. Rolando Enrique Domingo:

    The polio vaccinations happen all year round, but our coverage dropped for the past five years, we've learned our lesson. It is time to move on and really start vaccinating all kids and make sure we sustain this every year.

  3. Napoleon:

    History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.

  4. Philip Petursson:

    There's a little bit more of a calm into the marketplace that's come over the past couple of days.

  5. Yasuo Hasebe:

    I think allowing the use of the right of collective self-defense violates the constitution, it cannot be explained within the framework of the basic logic of the past government views ... and considerably damages legal stability.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for past

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • الماضي, ماضٍArabic
  • мінулаеBelarusian
  • миналоBulgarian
  • minulý, minulostCzech
  • Vergangenheit, Präteritum, vergangen, vorbeiGerman
  • παρελθών, τα περασμένα, πρότερος, παρελθόν, πρωτύτερος, περασμένος, πρώην, αόριστος, τέως, επέκεινα, πέρα, παρελθοντικόςGreek
  • preter, estintecoEsperanto
  • pretérito, pasadoSpanish
  • گذشتهPersian
  • mennyt, ohi, menneisyys, yli, viime, imperfekti, jälkeenFinnish
  • dernière, passé, passée, dernier, aprèsFrench
  • tar éis, i ndiaidh, caiteIrish
  • seach, an dèidh, seachadScottish Gaelic
  • עברHebrew
  • अतीतHindi
  • múlt, múlt időHungarian
  • passatoInterlingua
  • passatoItalian
  • 過去形, 過去, 過去時制Japanese
  • 과거형, 지나간, 이전의, 과거, 過去, 과거의Korean
  • ອາດີດLao
  • pagātne, pagājisLatvian
  • muaMāori
  • минатоMacedonian
  • passat, passataMaltese
  • ရှေးBurmese
  • verleden tijd, voorbije, verleden, voorbij, verder, vervlogene, afgelopenDutch
  • preteritum, forbi, bortenfor, fortidNorwegian
  • przeszłość, czas przeszłyPolish
  • passado, pretéritoPortuguese
  • trecut, trecutăRomanian
  • былое, мимо, прошлый, прошедшее время, прошлоеRussian
  • próšlo, prošlo vreme, прошлост, prošla, prošlost, prošliSerbo-Croatian
  • minulosťSlovak
  • preteklik, preteklostSlovene
  • förflutnaSwedish
  • గత, పూర్వం, భూతకాలము, గతించిన, గతకాలం, జరిగిన, వెనుక, పూర్వపు, గతం, పోయింది, జరిగిందిTelugu
  • อดีตThai
  • geçtiğimiz, geçmiş zaman, geçen, geçmiş, öncekiTurkish
  • минулеUkrainian
  • quá khứ, 過去Vietnamese

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    greatly exceeding bounds of reason or moderation
    A bristly
    B usurious
    C irascible
    D pecuniary

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