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noun past pronunciation in British English /pɑːst/
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  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 form of a verb that is used for describing states that existed or things that happened before the present time

rat tail

a type of hairstyle which has a long, thin strip of hair growing down the back of the neck

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(of a politician) to be able to communicate and connect with ordinary people

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