1. No longer current; gone by; over: His youth is past.
2. Having existed or occurred in an earlier time; bygone: past events; in years past.
a. Earlier than the present time; ago: 40 years past.
b. Just gone by or elapsed: in the past few days.
4. Having served formerly in a given capacity, especially an official one: a past president; a past inmate of a cell.
5. Grammar Of, relating to, or being a verb tense or form used to express an action or condition prior to the time it is expressed.
1. The time before the present.
a. Previous background, career, experiences, and activities: an elderly person with a distinguished past.
b. A former period of someone's life kept secret or thought to be shameful: a family with a checkered past.
a. The past tense.
b. A verb form in the past tense.
So as to pass by or go beyond: He waved as he walked past.
1. Beyond in time; later than or after: past midnight; a quarter past two.
2. Beyond in position; farther than: The house is a mile past the first stoplight. They walked past the memorial in silence.
a. Beyond the power, scope, extent, or influence of: The problem is past the point of resolution.
b. Beyond in development or appropriateness: The child is past drinking from a bottle. You're past sucking your thumb, so don't do it.
4. Beyond the number or amount of: The child couldn't count past 20. See Usage Note at pass.
[Middle English, from past participle of passen, to pass; see PASS.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.