I have long sought an answer to the following question: If sought is the past tense of seek, how come you say "we played hide and seek all afternoon" instead of "we hid and sought all afternoon?"

Seek means to look for, and sought is what you say when you're done with the looking. "As a young man, I sought my fortune. Now it is time for me to sit by the fire, searching for the long-sought-after answer to the timeless question 'What did it all mean?'"

Definitions of sought

adj that is looked for

“the long sought relatives”

adj being searched for

“the most sought-after item was the silver candelabrum”
desired or wished for or sought

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