Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

past - definition and synonyms

 
 
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
noun past pronunciation in British English /pɑːst/
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 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. 2
    [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

    1. a.
      [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. 3

    the past

    linguistics the forms of a verb group indicating that an action or event happened regularly, or that a situation existed or was true during a period before now. For example ‘he worked’, and ‘she was working’ are both in the past.

conlang

… a language for human communication which has been invented and has not developed naturally

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

spogs

spectacles; boiled sweets, candy; soft aniseed-flavoured jelly sweets coated with blue and pink sugar sprinkles

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog