- (grammar) preterite tense, Preterite tense, simple past tense: A tense that determines the specific initiation or termination of an action in the past.
Etymology: Borrowed from prétérit < (tempus) preteritum.
- (context, grammar, of a tense) Showing an action at a determined moment in the past. (Also known as the preterite tense)
Supplemental Details:Sponsor an extended definition for preterite for as little as $10 per month. Click here to contact