Past events have already happened — if it happened an Ice Age ago, a century ago, or even a minute ago, it's in the past.

They say the past is history and it's true. If you have ever been accused of "living in the past," you cling to what was instead of reveling in what is. If you hear that a person or a rare object in an antique store "has a past," get ready for a colorful story. As an adjective, past describes what is no longer current, like the past president of a club or past fashion craze — it's over: its time has passed.

Definitions of past
  1. adjective
    earlier than the present time; no longer current
    “time past
    “his youth is past
    “this past Thursday”
    “the past year”
    not current or belonging to the present time
    leaving a place or a position
    of long duration; not new
    ago, agone
    gone by; or in the past
    belonging to times long past especially of the historical period before the fall of the Western Roman Empire
    bygone, bypast, departed, foregone, gone
    well in the past; former
    chivalric, knightly, medieval
    characteristic of the time of chivalry and knighthood in the Middle Ages
    early, former, other
    belonging to the distant past
    erstwhile, former, old, one-time, onetime, quondam, sometime
    belonging to some prior time
    former, late, previous
    (used especially of persons) of the immediate past
    historic, historical
    belonging to the past; of what is important or famous in the past
    immediately past
    late, recent
    of the immediate past or just previous to the present time
    long past
    recently past
    prehistoric, prehistorical
    belonging to or existing in times before recorded history
    at a specific prior time
    ult, ultimo
    in or of the month preceding the present one
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    temporal sense; intermediate between past and future; now existing or happening or in consideration
    yet to be or coming
    arriving at a place or position
    presently existing
    of the present time and place
    inst, instant
    in or of the present month
    belonging to the present or recent times
    approaching, coming, forthcoming, upcoming
    of the relatively near future
    future day
    yet to come
    expected in the near future
    emerging, rising
    coming to maturity
    in store
    in readiness; awaiting
    prox, proximo
    in or of the next month after the present
    of or concerned with or related to the future
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  2. adjective
    of a person who has held and relinquished a position or office
    synonyms: preceding, retiring
    leaving a place or a position
  3. noun
    the time that has elapsed
    “forget the past
    synonyms: past times, yesteryear
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    future, futurity, hereafter, time to come
    the time yet to come
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    time long past
    bygone, water under the bridge
    past events to be put aside
    past times (especially in the phrase `in days of old')
    the aggregate of past events
    time immemorial, time out of mind
    the distant past beyond memory
    auld langsyne, good old days, langsyne, old times
    past times remembered with nostalgia
    the recent past
    type of:
    the continuum of experience in which events pass from the future through the present to the past
  4. noun
    a earlier period in someone's life (especially one that they have reason to keep secret)
    “reporters dug into the candidate's past
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    type of:
    period, period of time, time period
    an amount of time
  5. noun
    a verb tense that expresses actions or states in the past
    synonyms: past tense
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    preterit, preterite
    a term formerly used to refer to the simple past tense
    type of:
    a grammatical category of verbs used to express distinctions of time
  6. adverb
    so as to pass a given point
    “every hour a train goes past
    synonyms: by
Word Family

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