AskDefine | Define past

Dictionary Definition

past adj
1 earlier than the present time; no longer current; "time past"; "his youth is past"; "this past Thursday"; "the past year" [ant: present(a), future]
2 of a person who has held and relinquished a position or office; "a retiring member of the board" [syn: past(a), preceding(a), retiring(a)]
3 a verb tense or other construction referring to events or states that existed at some previous time; "past participle"


1 the time that has elapsed; "forget the past" [syn: past times, yesteryear, yore] [ant: future]
2 a earlier period in someone's life (especially one that they have reason to keep secret); "reporters dug into the candidate's past"
3 a verb tense that expresses actions or states in the past [syn: past tense] adv : so as to pass a given point; "every hour a train goes past" [syn: by]

User Contributed Dictionary




(Adjective) past participle of passen


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


The period of time that has already happened
(grammar) The past tense
  • Dutch: verleden tijd
  • Finnish: imperfekti
  • French: passé
  • Greek: αόριστος
  • Hungarian: múlt idő
  • Italian: passato
  • Korean: 과거형 (gwageohyeong)
  • Maltese: passat
  • Norwegian: preteritum
  • Portuguese: pretérito
  • Russian: прошедшее время
  • Serbian: prošlo vreme
  • Slovene: preteklik


  1. Having already happened; in the past; finished.
    past glories
  2. Relating to the past.
    past tense
  3. (of a period of time) the one before this one
    during the past year


Having already happened; in the past
Relating to the past
(of a period of time) the one before this one


  1. in a direction that passes
    I watched him walk past



  1. beyond in place, quantity or time
    the room past mine
    count past twenty
    past Midnight


Related terms



past f



  1. second person singular present tense of passen
  2. third person singular present tense of passen



past f

Extensive Definition

The past is the portion of time that has already occurred; it is the opposite of the future. It is also contrasted with the present. It is also regarded as the conglomerate of events that happened in a certain point in time, within the Space-time continuum. The aforementioned conception is closely related to Albert Einstein's relativity theory.
Humans have recorded the past since ancient times, and to some extent, one of the defining characteristics of human beings is that they are able to record the past, recall it, remember it and confront it with the current state of affairs, thus enabling them to plan accordingly for the future, and to theorise about it as well.

In philosophy

According to presentism, the past does not strictly exist; however, the methods of all sciences study the world's past, through the process of evaluating evidence.

In physics

In classical physics the past is just a half of the timeline. In special relativity the past is considered as absolute past or the past cone. In Earth's scale the difference between "classical" and "relativist" past is less than 0.05 s, so it can be neglected in most cases.


past in Czech: Minulost
past in Danish: Fortid
past in German: Vergangenheit
past in Estonian: Minevik
past in Spanish: Pasado
past in French: Passé
past in Korean: 과거
past in Hebrew: עבר
past in Japanese: 過去
past in Norwegian: Fortid
past in Portuguese: Passado
past in Quechua: Ñawpa pacha
past in Russian: Прошлое
past in Simple English: Past
past in Finnish: Menneisyys

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

above, above and beyond, across, after, ago, ancient, antecedent, anterior, antiquated, antique, antiquity, aorist, aoristic, background, before, behind, beyond, biography, blown over, by, bygone, bygone days, bypast, career, chronology, close by, continuity, dated, days beyond recall, days gone by, days of old, days of yore, dead, dead and buried, dead and gone, deceased, defunct, departed, disused, done, duration, durative, duree, early, elapsed, erstwhile, existence, expired, extinct, finished, fore, foregoing, foretime, forgotten, former, former times, future, future perfect, gone, gone glimmering, gone out, gone-by, has-been, heretofore, historical present, history, immemorial, imperfect, in excess of, irrecoverable, lang syne, lapsed, last, lastingness, late, later than, life, lifetime, nearby, no more, obsolete, old, old times, olden, olden times, on, once, onetime, out, out of style, out of use, outside, outworn, over, over and above, passe, passed, passed away, past perfect, perfect, perfective, period, pluperfect, point tense, precedent, prehistoric, present, present perfect, preterit, preteritive, previous, primeval, primitive, prior, progressive tense, psychological time, quondam, recent, run out, since, sometime, space, space-time, subsequent to, tense, term, the future, the past, the present, then, tide, time, timebinding, too deep for, vanished, while, whilom, without, wound up, yesterday, yesteryear, yore
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1