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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 particular point: I live on Station Road, just past the post office. Three boys went past us on mountain bikes. Was that Peter who just jogged past in those bright pink shorts?

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  • past preposition, adverb (TIME)

A1 used to say what the time is when it is a particular number 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 particular age or further than a particular point: She's past the age where she needs a babysitter. Do what you want, I'm past caring (= I don't care any longer).

pastadjective

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 average temperature worldwide has risen by about one degree Fahrenheit 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) even visiting the next village was considered a long journey.
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 cold weather 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 present time: 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 great names 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 describe actions, events, or states that happened or existed before the present time: 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 present time: [U] In the past, a streetcar line ran down 13th Avenue.
Your past is your life before the present time: [C] He never talks about his past.

pastadjective [not gradable]

 us   /pæst/
grammar having the tense used to describe actions, events, or states that happened or existed before the present time: The past tense of "change" is "changed."

pastpreposition, adverb [not gradable]

 us   /pæst/
on the far side of something, or from one side to the other: They live just past the post office. Three boys went past us on bikes.
beyond or above a particular point: 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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pastpreposition

uk   /pɑːst/  us   /pæst/
above a particular age or outside a stated limit: 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 sales department 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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“past” in Business English

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