past Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
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Meaning of “past” in the English Dictionary

"past" in British English

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pastpreposition, adverb

uk   /pɑːst/  us   /pæst/

past preposition, adverb (POSITION)

A2 in or to a ​position that is ​further than a ​particularpoint: I ​live on Station Road, just past the ​postoffice. Three ​boys went past us on ​mountainbikes. Was that Peter who just ​jogged past in those ​brightpinkshorts?
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past preposition, adverb (TIME)

A1 used to say what the ​time is when it is a ​particularnumber of ​minutes after an ​hour: It's five/ten/a ​quarter/twenty/twenty-five/​half past three. I need to ​leave at twenty past or I'll ​miss that ​train.B2 above a ​particularage or ​further than a ​particularpoint: She's past the ​age where she ​needs a ​babysitter. Do what you ​want, I'm past caring (= I don't ​care any ​longer).


uk   /pɑːst/  us   /pæst/

past adjective (TIME BEFORE)

B1 [before noun] used to refer to a ​period of ​time before and until the ​present: The ​averagetemperatureworldwide has ​risen by about one ​degreeFahrenheit in the past 100 ​years. I've been ​walking three ​miles a ​day for the past 30 ​years. He was the fifth ​climber to ​die on these ​mountains over the past two ​days. In centuries/​years past (= many ​centuries/​years ago)evenvisiting the next ​village was ​considered a ​longjourney.B1 [before noun] having ​happened or ​existed before now: I ​know from past experience that you can't ​judge by ​appearances. The ​prime minister's ​family have been ​instructed not to ​discuss his past life with the ​press. [after verb] finished: I'm ​feeling much ​better now that the ​coldweather is past.
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past adjective (GRAMMAR)

[before noun] language of the past tense: "Must" does not have a past ​form.
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pastnoun [S]

uk   /pɑːst/  us   /pæst/

past noun [S] (TIME BEFORE)

B1 the ​period before and until, but not ​including, the ​presenttime: Evolution can ​explain the past, but it can never ​predict the ​future. In the past, this ​sort of ​work was all done by ​hand. By ​winning the 1500 ​metres, he ​joins some of the ​greatnames of the past.a past a ​part of someone's ​life in which they did ​unacceptable or ​dishonest things: He's a man with a past.
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past noun [S] (GRAMMAR)

A2 language the ​form of a ​verb used to ​describeactions, ​events, or ​states that ​happened or ​existed before the ​presenttime: The past of "​change" is "​changed".
(Definition of past from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"past" in American English

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pastnoun [C/U]

 us   /pæst/

past noun [C/U] (TIME BEFORE)

the ​period before and until, but not ​including, the ​presenttime: [U] In the past, a ​streetcarlineran down 13th ​Avenue. Your past is ​yourlife before the ​presenttime: [C] He never ​talks about his past.

pastadjective [not gradable]

 us   /pæst/

past adjective [not gradable] (RELATING TO GRAMMAR)

grammar having the ​tense used to ​describeactions, ​events, or ​states that ​happened or ​existed before the ​presenttime: The past ​tense of "​change" is "​changed."

pastpreposition, adverb [not gradable]

 us   /pæst/

past preposition, adverb [not gradable] (ON THE FAR SIDE)

on the ​farside of something, or from one ​side to the other: They ​live just past the ​postoffice. Three ​boys went past us on ​bikes.

past preposition, adverb [not gradable] (BEYOND)

beyond or above a ​particularpoint: Melissa is past the ​age where she ​needs a ​babysitter. It’s already past ​noon.
(Definition of past from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"past" in Business English

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uk   /pɑːst/  us   /pæst/
above a particular age or outside a ​statedlimit: More and more ​people are ​working until past ​retirement age. We're past the ​point where ​losing a couple of ​employees will ​save us.

pastadjective [before noun]

uk   /pɑːst/  us   /pæst/
during a ​period of ​time before and until the ​present: Our ​costs have ​risen by 15% in the past ​year. He's ​managed the ​salesdepartment for the past 10 ​years. We've been discussing the ​issue over the past few days.
having ​happened or existed before now: I know from past ​experience that this ​campaign will ​work.
(Definition of past from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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