One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The part of a person's life already lived; (also, in later use) the part of it before a significant change in lifestyle or circumstances.
2A previous incarnation.
3Attributive originally US. Designating or relating to a method of alternative therapy in which a person is regressed, usually through hypnosis, to a supposed previous incarnation; especially in "past-life regression", "past-life therapy".
Late 16th century; earliest use found in William Wyrley (1565–1618), antiquary and herald. From past + life.
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