Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of preterite
Meaning of preterite by Wiktionary Dictionary


    Alternative forms

    • preterit ( US )
    • praeterite
    • præterite ( archaic )


    Recorded since 1340, from Old French preterit ( 13th century ), < Latin praeteritum ( as in tempus praeteritum "time past" ), the past participle of praeterire "to go by, go past", itself from praeter "beyond, before, above, more than" ( comparative of prae "before" ) + itum ( the past participle of ire "to go" ) .


    • IPA: /pɹɛtəɹət/, /pɹɛtəɹɪt/, SAMPA: /pr\Et@r\@t/, /pr\Et@r\It/


    preterite ( not comparable )

    1. ( grammar, of a tense ) showing an action at a determined moment in the past .

    Related terms

Explanation of preterite by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. a term formerly used to refer to the simple past tense

    Definition of preterite by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Preterit ( ?; 277 ), a. [L. praeteritus, p. p. of praeterire to go or pass by; praeter beyond, by + ire to go: cf. F. prétérit. See Issue.] [Written also preterite and præterite.]
      1. ( Gram. ) Past; -- applied to a tense which expresses an action or state as past.

      2. Belonging wholly to the past; passed by. [R.]

      Things and persons as thoroughly preterite as Romulus or Numa. Lowell.

    2. Preterite a. & n. Same as Preterit.