past1 W1S1 [pa:st US pæst] adj
[Date: 1200-1300; Origin: Old past participle of pass]
1.) ¦(PREVIOUS)¦ [only before noun]
done, used, or experienced before now
Judging 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.
2.) ¦(RECENT)¦ [only before noun]
used to refer to a period up until now
the events of the past year
During the past two weeks twelve people have died of the disease.
She has been feeling tired for the past few days.
3.) ¦(FINISHED)¦
finished or having come to an end
Winter is past and spring has come at last.
writers from past centuries
a tradition rooted in times long past
4.) ¦(FORMER)¦ [only before noun]
having held a particular position in the past or achieved a particular honour in the past
past president/member/winner etc
a past president of the golf club
a celebration for past and present employees of the newspaper
Bruce Jenner, a past Olympic champion
5.) ¦(GRAMMAR)¦ [only before noun]
relating to the ↑past tense
past 2
past2 W2S1 prep, adv
1.) later than a particular time
It'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.
2.) further than a particular place
The 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.
3.) up to and beyond a person or place, without stopping
She 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.
4.) if a period of time goes past, it passes
Weeks went past without any news.
The hours seemed to fly past.
5.) beyond or no longer at a particular point or stage
The 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 date
an 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 any more) .
6.) I wouldn't put it past sb (to do sth)
spoken used to say that you would not be surprised if someone did something bad or unusual because it is typical of them to do that type of thing
I wouldn't put it past Colin to cheat.
7.) past it
BrE spoken too old to be able to do what you used to do, or too old to be useful
People seem to think that just because I'm retired, I'm past it.
8.) be past due
AmE something that is past due has not been paid or done by the time it should have been
past 3
past3 W2S1 n
1.) the past
a) the time that existed before the present
in the past
The lake was smaller in the past.
Good manners have become a thing of the past (=something that does not exist any more) .
It's time she stopped living in the past (=thinking only about the past) and began to think about her future.
the recent/immediate/distant past
She allowed her mind to drift towards the recent past.
I did a law degree some time in the dim and distant past (=a long time ago) .
b) the ↑past tense
2.) all in the past
spoken used to say that an unpleasant experience has ended and can be forgotten
You mustn't think about it. It's all in the past now.
3.) [singular]
the past life or existence of someone or something
At 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) .

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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