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I UK [pɑːst] / US [pæst] adverb, preposition
Summary:

Past can be used in the following ways: - as a preposition (followed by a noun): It's past your bedtime. I walked past the post office. - as an adverb (without a following noun): A policeman walked past. Months went past and nothing happened.
1) after a particular time
a) used for saying what time it is when it is not more than thirty minutes after one, two etc o'clock

I'll meet you at half past five.

It's exactly ten past three.

b) later than a particular time

It was past midnight by the time we arrived.

2) passing a person, place, or thing going near someone or something while you are on your way to another place

I walked past several hotels on my way to the petrol station.

He got the ball and headed it past Mitchell.

The river winds its way past the picturesque village of Comrie.

The thieves somehow got past all the alarms.

She heard music coming from inside the van as it drove past.

3) further away than a place further than a particular place along a road, path, river etc

Turn right a mile past the graveyard and you'll see the church.

just past:

You'll find the town about 80 miles south of Missoula, just past Darby.

4) looking towards a point behind someone/something looking towards a place behind someone or something instead of directly at them
right past:

I tried to catch his eye, but he stared right past me.

straight past:

Tom seemed to be looking straight past me at the wall.

5) after a particular stage used for saying that someone or something has passed a particular stage or point

He was past his prime as a player by then.

I tried to read the book, but couldn't get past the first chapter.

6) when time passes used for saying that a period of time passes

The months went past, and still no word from her.

The days seem to be just whizzing past.

7) no longer thinking or feeling something used for saying that your attitudes or feelings have changed in such a way that you no longer think about something

I used to worry about him coming home late, but now I'm past caring.

I wouldn't put it past someone (to do something) — used for saying that you think someone is capable of doing something bad

I wouldn't put it past him to steal from his own family.


II UK [pɑːst] / US [pæst] noun
1) the past the time before the present, and everything that happened then

Archaeology helps us to understand the past.

He has made similar promises in the past.

The business has grown steadily in the recent past.

Anyway, it's all in the past now (= something unpleasant is over and can be forgotten).

2)
a) [singular] the things that someone has done or the things that have happened to someone or something during the time before now

My past as a player has undoubtedly helped me in my career as a coach.

a legacy of our imperial past

b) [singular] an earlier part of someone's life that they keep secret because other people would not approve of it

We discovered that the author had a murky past.

Only his family and closest friends know about his past.

3) the past
linguistics the form of a verb that is used for describing states that existed or things that happened before the present time
See:

III UK [pɑːst] / US [pæst] adjective
1)
a) [only before noun] happening or existing in the period of time that has just finished

The patient's condition has improved over the past 24 hours.

He has spent the past two weeks travelling around the country.

In the past year, nearly 15,000 jobs have been lost in Scotland.

b) happening or existing at any earlier time

I know from past experience that this work is very time-consuming.

The report is highly critical of the Department's past performance.

He is a past president of the Union.

The shaded areas on the map show the past and present extent of the forest.

2) ended, or no longer existing

Summer is past, and autumn is upon us.

My running days are long past.


English dictionary. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Past — Past, n. A former time or state; a state of things gone by. The past, at least, is secure. D. Webster. [1913 Webster] The present is only intelligible in the light of the past, often a very remote past indeed. Trench. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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