Meaning of PAST in English

/ pɑːst; NAmE pæst/ adjective , noun , preposition , adverb

■ adjective


gone by in time :

in past years / centuries / ages

in times past

The time for discussion is past.


[ only before noun ] gone by recently; just ended :

I haven't seen much of her in the past few weeks.

The past month has been really busy at work.


[ only before noun ] belonging to an earlier time :

past events

From past experience I'd say he'd probably forgotten the time.

past and present students of the college

Let's forget about who was more to blame—it's all past history .


[ only before noun ] ( grammar ) connected with the form of a verb used to express actions in the past

■ noun


the past [ sing. ] the time that has gone by; things that happened in an earlier time :

I used to go there often in the past.

the recent / distant past

She looked back on the past without regret.

Writing letters seems to be a thing of the past .


[ C ] a person's past life or career :

We don't know anything about his past.

They say she has a 'past' (= bad things in her past life that she wishes to keep secret) .


the past [ sing. ] ( grammar ) = past tense


see blast noun , distant , live (I)

■ preposition


( NAmE also after ) later than sth :

half past two

ten (minutes) past six

There's a bus at twenty minutes past the hour (= at 1.20, 2.20, etc.) .

We arrived at two o'clock and left at ten past (= ten minutes past two) .

It was past midnight when we got home.


on or to the other side of sb/sth :

We live in the house just past the church.

He hurried past them without stopping.

He just walked straight past us!


above or further than a particular point or stage :

Unemployment is now past the 3 million mark.

The flowers are past their best.

He's past his prime.

She's long past retirement age.

Honestly, I'm past caring what happens (= I can no longer be bothered to care) .


- past it

■ adverb


from one side of sth to the other :

I called out to him as he ran past.


used to describe time passing

SYN by :

A week went past and nothing had changed.



Middle English : variant of passed , past participle of pass .

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.