Preterit Pret"er*it (?; 277), a. [L. praeteritus, p. p. of praeterire to go or pass by; praeter beyond, by + ire to go: cf. F. pr['e]t['e]rit. See {Issue}.] [Written also {preterite} and {pr[ae]terite}.] 1. (Gram.) Past; -- applied to a tense which expresses an action or state as past. [1913 Webster]

2. Belonging wholly to the past; passed by. [R.] [1913 Webster]

Things and persons as thoroughly preterite as Romulus or Numa. --Lowell. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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