Definition of ago in English:



  • Before the present; earlier (used with a measurement of time)

    ‘he went five minutes ago’
    ‘two years ago his parents moved house’
    • ‘Leary had always said that he would never ever quit smoking, but a few years ago he did.’
    • ‘He admitted that he'd met a girl a year ago and she was moving to Derby in Jan and wanted to meet up.’
    • ‘It started a week ago when I had to go down to Erith in Kent to collect some honey jars.’
    • ‘Two days ago he went into the group's head office for the last time to clear his desk.’
    • ‘I spent two weeks a few years ago proofreading it for him and confess it was hard work.’
    • ‘In fact the last American to come close here was Daly two years ago when he tied for third.’
    • ‘Thank you to those of you who have been asking about my hospital visit a couple of weeks ago.’
    • ‘She had beaten off the disease five years ago after a melanoma had been found on her leg.’
    • ‘The owner decided to give it a trial when he got rid of his previous cab a week or two ago.’
    • ‘It was like a minute ago that I talked to Natalie and now I am on my way in my Jaguar to get her.’
    • ‘There was a time, and it is only a couple of years ago, when all this would seem surreal.’
    • ‘Ok, so they probably set it up to do this ages ago, but I gave up trying quite a while ago.’
    • ‘Ten years ago there was outrage when he was released for five days to go on a holiday.’
    • ‘Ten years ago was the worse year of my life. It was a year when nothing seemed to go right.’
    • ‘Its not hard to find stories on the issue and it happened over a week ago so why is Younge not aware of it?’
    • ‘Do you ever sit back and think, five or six years ago this would have been a fairytale?’
    • ‘They talk about it less now than they did a week ago, but the spectre of it is omnipresent.’
    • ‘His brother died of a heart attack a year ago and his father has had three attacks this year.’
    • ‘He was born over eighty years ago in the house next to the church and died in a house next to the church.’
    • ‘He hopes to jog a few memories in January by picking up where he left off five months ago.’
    in the past, before the present, before, earlier, back, in time gone by, since, formerly, previously
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When ago is followed by a clause, the clause should be introduced by that rather than since, e.g. it was sixty years ago that I left this place (not it was sixty years ago since I left this place). The use of since is not correct in standard English


Middle English ago, agone, past participle of the obsolete verb ago ‘pass’, used to express passage of time.