Preterite meaning

prĕtər-ĭt
Of, relating to, or being the verb tense that describes a past action or state.
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The verb form expressing or describing a past action or condition.
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A verb in the preterite form.
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(grammar, of a tense) Showing an action at a determined moment in the past.
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Belonging wholly to the past; passed by.
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(grammar) The preterite tense, simple past tense: the grammatical tense that determines the specific initiation or termination of an action in the past.
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Origin of preterite

  • Middle English from Old French from Latin (tempus) praeteritum past (tense) neuter past participle of praeterīre to go by praeter beyond comparative of prae before per1 in Indo-European roots īre to go ei- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Recorded since 1340, from Old French preterit (13th century), from 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").

    From Wiktionary