from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The quality or condition of being past.
  • n. The emotion or feeling evoked by memory: "the one wave of recaptured pastness with which many a gifted writer makes his debut” ( John Simon).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state or quality of being past.
  • n. The result or product of being past.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The quality of being past.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the quality of being past


From past +‎ -ness (Wiktionary)


  • In other words, all music — regardless of age — is ideally immediate and timeless, and as the technology of reproducing music — regardless of age — improves, the "pastness" of music falls away.

    We should be on by now

  • Condillac's reasoning is less than explicit at this point, but he seems to have taken this experience to provide us with an awareness of what we might call the "pastness" of the echo, and at the same time of the continued existence of an identical self which experienced both the past perception and the current ones.

    Étienne Bonnot de Condillac

  • There may be a specific feeling which could be called the feeling of "pastness," especially where immediate memory is concerned.

    The Analysis of Mind

  • In other words, all music-regardless of age-is ideally immediate and timeless, and as the technology of reproducing music-regardless of age-improves, the "pastness" of music falls away.

    Soho the Dog

  • It may break out of space or out of time, a pastness or futurity suddenly erupting within or descending upon the present.

    Weird birthday wishes to H.P. Lovecraft and a musical interlude

  • I suppose the point I take issue with is that the pastness never exactly falls away.

    We should be on by now

  • This calculus of ˜pure futurity™ he transformed into a calculus of ˜pure pastness™ by replacing F throughout the axioms, rules, and definition, by the past tense operator P (˜It has been the case that™), and replacing G by the past perpetual operator H (˜It has always been the case that™).

    The Sun Is Not

  • When art is thought about as one continuous chronicle of painters, the effect is that the pastness of past art can disappear and the canvas that is still wet can have a larger historical significance.

    An Eye on the Tremors

  • (“Mad Men” owes some of its success to the warmth of its pastness, to the feeling of respite from change, of fastidious restoration, that it provides.)

    By the Blight of the Silvery Moon: Mad Men Postmortem: James Wolcott

  • The pastness of the event apprehended is not part of the content of the past apprehension.

    Reid on Memory and Personal Identity


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