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1. No longer current; gone by; over: His youth is past.
2. Having existed or occurred in an earlier time; bygone: past events; in years past.
a. Earlier than the present time; ago: 40 years past.
b. Just gone by or elapsed: in the past few days.
4. Having served formerly in a given capacity, especially an official one: a past president; a past inmate of a cell.
5. Grammar Of, relating to, or being a verb tense or form used to express an action or condition prior to the time it is expressed.
1. The time before the present.
a. Previous background, career, experiences, and activities: an elderly person with a distinguished past.
b. A former period of someone's life kept secret or thought to be shameful: a family with a checkered past.
3. Grammar
a. The past tense.
b. A verb form in the past tense.
So as to pass by or go beyond: He waved as he walked past.
1. Beyond in time; later than or after: past midnight; a quarter past two.
2. Beyond in position; farther than: The house is a mile past the first stoplight. They walked past the memorial in silence.
a. Beyond the power, scope, extent, or influence of: The problem is past the point of resolution.
b. Beyond in development or appropriateness: The child is past drinking from a bottle. You're past sucking your thumb, so don't do it.
4. Beyond the number or amount of: The child couldn't count past 20. See Usage Note at pass.

[Middle English, from past participle of passen, to pass; see pass.]

past′ness n.


1. the state of being in the past
2. the quality of being reminiscent of the past
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.pastness - the quality of being past
timing - the time when something happens
recency, recentness - a time immediately before the present
futurity - the quality of being in or of the future
nowness, presentness - the quality of being the present; "a study of the pastness of the present and...of the presentness of the past"- R.E.Spiller
References in classic literature ?
We may say, then, that images are regarded by us as more or less accurate copies of past occurrences because they come to us with two sorts of feelings: (1) Those that may be called feelings of familiarity; (2) those that may be collected together as feelings giving a sense of pastness.
James states that it is this way of apprehending the immediate past that is "the ORIGINAL of our experience of pastness, from whence we get the meaning of the term"("Psychology," i, p.
Despite the context of enforced solitude, the entire fabric of the poet's vision is woven through supposition, through the conditional "as if," so that the conjectural pastness of "as would have been" in the opening of the first stanza is answered by the equally conjectural presentness of "As I myself were there
Rather what is crucial is the 'isomorphic' mnemonics, their capacity for bringing the very particular aspect of their own pastness to us.
Ordinary history emphasizes the pastness of the past; history-in-law mines it to support a contemporary position.
The historical sense involves a perception, not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence.
How is it that hysteria indexes pastness when it continues to circulate today under a series of diagnostic labels, cultural representations, and corporeal embodiments?
Invoking the same literary tradition, Owens calls the ballad "this degraded thing shot through with a sense of pastness, cultural infancy and a charming but sometimes dangerous rusticity that needs to be carefully framed and reined.
framed between the remembered past and the imagined future with the need to fill the inchoate present with activity," some metaphors can give "a futureness to the past and a pastness to the future that is fundamentally reassuring" (Fernandez 118).
into pastness in the mouth of time, which crunches it into the
At the same time, the very pastness of the archaic cinema tropes that he deploys challenges the historical authority of classical Hollywood cinema's culturally colonizing role by illustrating the constructedness and impermanence of that filmmaking style.
It drifts away into soft abstract pastness, open to any kind of reading (or matching to other photographs).