pastpast1 /pɑːst $ pæst/ ●●●S1W1 adjective1previous [only before noun]PAST done, used, or experienced before nowJudging by her past performance, Jane should do very well.From past experience she knew that it was no use arguing with him.Study some past exam papers to get an idea of the questions.2recentPAST [only before noun] used to refer to a period up until nowthe events of the past yearDuring the past two weeks, 12 people have died of the disease.She has been feeling tired for the past few days.3finishedFINISH/COME TO AN ENDfinished or having come to an endWinter is past and spring has come at last.writers from past centuriesa tradition rooted in times long past4formerPAST [only before noun] having held a particular position in the past or achieved a particular honour in the pastpast president/member/winner etca past president of the golf cluba celebration for past and present employees of the newspaperBruce Jenner, a past Olympic champion5grammar [only before noun]SLGrelating to the past tense
Examples from the Corpus
past• the enormous changes of the past 30 years• The problems we face now are a result of pastdecisions.• We knew from past experience that the job would take at least two weeks.• He's learned a lot from his past experience.• The past few months have been very difficult for Mary.• Productivityimprovements over the past five years, admittedly from a very lowbase, have been highly impressive.• The time is past for us to continue ignoring our differences.• Judging by her pastperformance, I'd say Rowena will do very well.• Groups have put a lot into pastprojects, and have always seen an excellent result.• the past tense• For the past two weeks, I've been doing my boss's job while she's away on business.• Trafford educationauthority has received about £13 million in the past two years to help it reorganise and improve its schools.long past• The statement, sympathetic but faintly condescending, was suited to an era of comity already long past.• When Paige awoke it was still early, not long pastdawn, and she was alone in the sleeping-bag.• The result - heavyindustry and low value added production kept going long past its time, ineffectually, by subsidy.• It was long pastsundown when I finally continued on back to the cabin, trotting up the path in the moonlight.• Early November was long pasttouristseason, and he did not look like a logger.• This may be evidence of some long pastwinechillingexercise.past president/member/winner etc• By contrast, some past winners have lamented that the prizediverts them from their beloved lab work.• HusbandDon is a past president of both the U.S.• He was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and was a past president of the fraternity.• He is past President of the HairdressersFellowship and in the 50's was a leading competition hairdresser.• He was also a past president of the NationalHellenicResearchFoundation.• Her husband, Jack, was a past president of the ParishCouncil.pastpast2 ●●●S1W2 preposition, adverb1later than a particular timeIt’s ten past nine.I should be finished by half past (=30 minutes after the hour).It was past midnight when the party ended.Come on Annie, it’s long past your bedtime.2AFTERfurther than a particular placeThe hospital’s just up this road, about a mile past the school.There are parking spaces over there, just past (=a little further than) the garage.3PASS/GO PASTup to and beyond a person or place, without stoppingShe waved as she drove past.Will you be going past my house on your way home?straight/right past (=used to emphasize that someone passes close to you and does not stop)Monica hurried straight past me and down the steps.4PASS/TIME PASSINGif a period of time goes past, it passesWeeks went past without any news.The hours seemed to fly past.5beyond or no longer at a particular point or stageThe roses were already past their best.Reid never really got past the stage of copying other artists.a pot of yoghurt well past its sell-by datean Italian singer who was then past her prime (=no longer strong and active)I’m past caring about my appearance (=I do not care about it anymore).6 →I wouldn’t put it past somebody (to do something)7 →past it8 →be past due
Examples from the Corpus
past• It's quarterpast four.• It's ten past nine.• My house is four blockspast the main intersection.• You drive past the stadium on your way to work, don't you?• It's half past two.• Come on Annie, it's past your bedtime.long past• The statement, sympathetic but faintly condescending, was suited to an era of comity already long past.• When Paige awoke it was still early, not long past dawn, and she was alone in the sleeping-bag.• The result - heavy industry and low value added production kept going long past its time, ineffectually, by subsidy.• It was long past sundown when I finally continued on back to the cabin, trotting up the path in the moonlight.• Early November was long past tourist season, and he did not look like a logger.• This may be evidence of some long past wine chilling exercise.just past• He began to diminish the moment just past.• Might a nostalgia have overtaken him, a yearning for a sweeter time just past?• It was a Monday night, just pastdinner, and he was wearing plaidslippers.• Lemmon, locatedjust pastMileMarker 22 on the left-hand side.• In the national bettingholidayjust past, teen-agers were full players in the spree.• There's a movie theater just past the bank.• Ignore the ladder and go to the door just past the policeman.• The race finishes just past Westminster Bridge.straight/right past• If he'd driven at 40 miles an hour he would have driven straight past.• Only Hsu Fu had sailedright past.• Kip walks right past him and his audience, still ahead of me by a few paces.• I chuggedright past the doorman and into the elevator.• If he had braked at the collision he would have slidstraight past the scene.• They amblestraight past us, unawares.• It looks to me like this team is looking right past you.well past• We must be well past Malmesbury by this time, Isabel thought.• They usually return well pastmidnight, a little disheveled, singing or talking loudly.• The lock would turn over and Kip would come in well past midnight.• We have enough randomviolence to keep us busywell past the End Days.• That set us apart from the other customers, who looked to have gotten well past the planning stage.• When I awake, it is well past three.• It was dark outside and well past your bedtime.pastpast3 ●●●S1W2 noun1 →the past2 →all in the past3PAST[singular] the past life or existence of someone or somethingAt some time in its past the church was rebuilt.The woman who ran the bar had a very shady past (=events in her past which might be considered bad).COLLOCATIONSadjectivesthe recent pastThe optimistic economic climate of the recent past has gone.the distant/remote pastRivers of molten lava clearly flowed here in the distant past.the immediate past (=the very recent past)In order to understand the present, we must look at the immediate past.verbsforget the pastForget the past and focus on the future.be living in the past (=think only about the past)You’ve got to stop living in the past.phrasesbe/become a thing of the past (=not exist anymore, or stop existing)We hope that smoking will become a thing of the past.a break with the past (=when something is done in a completely different way to how it was done in the past)These policies are a break with the past.in the dim and distant past (=a very long time ago)I think she sang Ireland's entry in the Eurovision Song Contest sometime in the dim and distant past.THESAURUSin the past at a time before now, especially a long time agoIn the past, most children didn’t go to school at all.We had a big argument, but it’s all in the past now.in those days/in the old days a long time ago in your life, or in your parents’ or grandparents’ lives, when things were different£5 was a lot of money in those days.In the old days, only very rich people had cars.at one time used for saying that something was true in the past, but is not nowAt one time there were six schools in the village.I would have agreed with you at one time.back in the day informal used when you are talking about a time in the past, especially one that you remember as being very goodI loved Blondie back in the day.Back in the day, everyone would meet at the boys’ club.