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[bahy-gawn, -gon] /ˈbaɪˌgɔn, -ˌgɒn/
past; gone by; earlier; former:
The faded photograph brought memories of bygone days.
Usually, bygones. that which is past:
Let's not talk of bygones.
let bygones be bygones, to decide to forget past disagreements; become reconciled:
Let's let bygones be bygones and be friends again.
Origin of bygone
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English (north) by-gane; see gone, by1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bygones
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Who can sympathize with bygones when he is counting the minutes that are to make him one of them?

    A Day's Ride Charles James Lever
  • We're going to let bygones be bygones, and try and turn over a new leaf.

    The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame
  • It looks as though these two girls were not willing to let bygones be bygones.

  • Mr. Fenwick, is that the way in which you let bygones be bygones?

    The Vicar of Bullhampton Anthony Trollope
  • Letting for the moment bygones be bygones between landlord and tenant, what is to occur in the future?

    Disturbed Ireland Bernard H. Becker
  • He could let bygones be bygones, for it was easy enough to be generous in the hour of his triumph.

    The Lady Doc Caroline Lockhart
  • And with this he was satisfied to rest and let bygones be bygones.

    Twelve Men Theodore Dreiser
  • But, considerin' that I got this horn from Mr. Bangs, I'm willin' to let bygones be past.

    Cy Whittaker's Place Joseph C. Lincoln
British Dictionary definitions for bygones


(usually prenominal) past; former
(often pl) a past occurrence
(often pl) an artefact, implement, etc, of former domestic or industrial use, now often collected for interest
let bygones be bygones, to agree to forget past quarrels
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bygones

"things that are past," especially offenses, 1560s, from plural of noun use of bygone (q.v.).



early 15c., from by (adv.) + gone. Cf. similar construction of aforesaid. As a noun from 1560s (see bygones).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with bygones


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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