1 time before the present
ADJ. immediate, recent | ancient, (dim and) distant, remote Many modern festivals can be traced back to an ancient past. It all happened in the distant past.
VERB + PAST cling to, live in We're going to have to stop living in the past and invest in new technology if the firm is to survive. | belong in/to Those memories belong to the past and I don't want to think about them.
PREP. from the ~ Memories from the past came flooding back to him. | in the ~ I admit that I have made mistakes in the past. | into the ~ events stretching back many years into the past | of the ~ great artists of the past
PHRASES be all in the past Don't worry about it?it's all in the past now. | a break with the past In an effort to make a complete break with the past, she sold everything and went abroad. | a glimpse of the past The uncovering of the buried town gives us a unique glimpse of the past. | a link with the past The old market is a living link with the past, unchanged for hundreds of years. | nostalgia for the past, a thing of the past a new device that makes such problems a thing of the past
2 sb/sth's history
ADJ. historic, historical | colourful, rich | chequered, murky, sordid | criminal | glorious, illustrious Few remnants remain of the city's glorious past. | cultural, political | ancestral, evolutionary | imperial, industrial
VERB + PAST reflect on/upon | recapture trying in vain to recapture his past | erase, escape from, put behind you, wipe out Political parties cannot escape from their pasts any more than individuals can. The counselling helped Dan to put the past behind him.
PREP. from your ~ ghosts from his past | in your ~ at some time in her past