Pronunciation: (past, päst),[key] —adj. 1. gone by or elapsed in time: It was a bad time, but it's all past now. 2. of, having existed in, or having occurred during a time previous to the present; bygone: the past glories of the Incas. 3. gone by just before the present time; just passed: during the past year. 4. ago: six days past. 5. having formerly been or served as; previous; earlier: three past presidents of the club. 6. Gram.designating a tense, or other verb formation or construction, that refers to events or states in time gone by.
—n. 1. the time gone by: He could remember events far back in the past. 2. the history of a person, nation, etc.: our country's glorious past. 3. what has existed or has happened at some earlier time: Try to forget the past, now that your troubles are over. 4. the events, phenomena, conditions, etc., that characterized an earlier historical period: That hat is something out of the past. 5. an earlier period of a person's life, career, etc., that is thought to be of a shameful or embarrassing nature: When he left prison, he put his past behind him. 6. Gram. a. the past tense, as he ate, he smoked. b. another verb formation or construction with past meaning.
c. a form in the past tense.
—adv. so as to pass by or beyond; by: The troops marched past.
—prep. 1. beyond in time; later than; after: past noon; half past six. 2. beyond in space or position; farther on than: the house just past the church. 3. in a direction so as to pass by or go beyond: We went past the house by mistake. 4. beyond in amount, number, etc.: past the maximum age for enlisting in the army. 5. beyond the reach, scope, influence, or power of: He is past hope of recovery.