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From Middle English passe tyme, calque of Middle French passe-temps.



pastime (plural pastimes)

  1. Something which amuses, and serves to make time pass agreeably
    Chatting is a pleasant pastime.
    • 1776, Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations:
      Hunting and fishing, the most important employments of mankind in the rude state of society, become in its advanced state their most agreeable amusements, and they pursue for pleasure what they once followed from necessity. In the advanced state of society, therefore, they are all very poor people who follow as a trade what other people pursue as a pastime.
    • 1883, Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi:
      [] lax court morals and the absurd chivalry business were in full feather, and the joust and the tournament were the frequent pastime of titled fine gentlemen who could fight better than they could spell...
    • 1977, Agatha Christie, chapter 4, in An Autobiography, part I, London: Collins, →ISBN:
      An indulgent playmate, Grannie would lay aside the long scratchy-looking letter she was writing (heavily crossed ‘to save notepaper’) and enter into the delightful pastime of ‘a chicken from Mr Whiteley's’.



Further readingEdit


pastime (third-person singular simple present pastimes, present participle pastiming, simple past and past participle pastimed)

  1. (intransitive, obsolete) to sport; to amuse oneself

Derived termsEdit