1 adjective
1 PREVIOUS (only before noun) done, used, or experienced before now: Judging by her past performance, I'd say Rowena should do very well. | From past experience she knew not to ask him where he'd been. | Study some past exam papers to get an idea of the questions.
2 RECENTLY a little earlier than the present or up until now: in the past 24 hours/year/few weeks etc: In the past year Shane's changed jobs 3 times. | for the past 24 hours/year/few weeks etc: Ben hasn't been feeling too good for the past week.
3 FINISHED finished or having come to an end: Winter is past and spring has come at last. | Sarah's eyes shone with memories of past happiness. | past life (=part of your life that you have no connection with any more): a sleep filled with dreams of my past life in the East.
4 FORMER (only before noun) achieving something in the past, or holding a particular important position in the past: past president/champion/heroes etc: celebrating in honour of all our nation's past heroes
5 be past it spoken to be too old to do something: Talbot's past it - they should have dropped him.
6 GRAMMAR (only before noun) technical being the form of a verb that is used to show a past action or state: the past tense
2 preposition
1 further than: The hospital's just up this road about a mile past the school on your left. | just past (=a little further than): There are parking spaces over there, just past the garage.
2 up to and beyond: Will you be going past my house on your way home? | straight past (=directly past without stopping): Eva had changed so much I walked straight past her and didn't recognize her.
3 I wouldn't put it past sb (to do sth) spoken used to say that you would not be surprised if someone did something bad or unusual because it is typical of them to do that type of thing: I'm not sure if he actually did cheat in the exams, but I wouldn't put it past him!
4 be past caring/being interested/hope etc to not care any more, be interested in something any more etc: I used to get really upset when he wouldn't see me, but I'm past caring now.
3 noun
1 the past
a) the time that existed before the present: James has done many things in the past, but he's happiest now in his job as a teacher. | a thing of the past (=something that does not exist any more): Good manners seem to have become a thing of the past.
b) the form of a verb that shows that the action or state described by the verb happened or existed some time before the present time: Change the following verbs into the past.
2 it's all in the past spoken used to say that an unpleasant experience has ended and can be forgotten: You mustn't think about it. It's all in the past now.
3 sb's/sth's past all the things that have happened to someone or something in the past: There were certain things in his past which were very painful for Neil to remember.
4 (singular) part of someone's life that they try to keep secret because they did things that are considered to be wrong: a shady past: There was something odd about him which suggested he had a shady past.
4 adverb
1 up to and beyond a particular place: Hal and his friends came running past at top speed.
2 go past if a period of time goes past, it passes: Weeks went past without any news of them.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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