The Past Tense of Pet: Here’s What It Is and How to Use It

If you have ever been curious about the correct past tense of pet was, this article will clear that up plus give you a look into the history of the word, the definition, and everything else you could want to learn about the word.

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What is the Definition of the Word Pet?

The word pet is defined as:

  • a pampered and usually spoiled child
  • a person who is treated with unusual kindness or consideration: DARLING
  • a domesticated animal kept for pleasure rather than utility
  • kept or treated as a pet
  • a pet name
  • a fit of peevishness, sulkiness, or anger

A pet is most commonly thought of as an animal kept in your house or on your property. They are a companion or serve some sort of purpose. For many, their pet is like a child and treated better than some people. The most common type of pet is fresh-water fish followed by cats and dogs. Fish are very easy to take care especially if you are a very busy person and cannot give your pet as much attention. Cats and dogs take more time and attention but are more fun to have around. Dogs are commonly referred to as man’s best friends and many types of animals are used for physical and emotional support. 

The word can be used as a noun, a verb, or an adjective. When used as a noun it would be referring to an animal or a favored child or person. An example of pet used as a verb would be to pet something or someone, to treat someone like a pet, or to take offense to something (pet-peeve). Lastly, pet can be used as an adjective used to describe fondness of something, for example, a pet name. 

How Do You Conjugate Pet?

Here are the other conjugations of the word pet:

Infinitive Pet
Present Participle/ Present TensePetting 
Simple Past Tense FormPetted
Past Participle Petted 

The History and Origin of the Word

The word was originally used in Scotland and England in the 15th-century originally  meaning a favorite child and then was used for a domesticated or tamed animal kept as a favorite. This century also used the word to mean “it of peevishness, offense or ill-humor at feeling slighted.” In the 1800s the phrase teacher’s pet became popular and then in the 1900s, the word was used as slang to describe kissing or caressing. 

Synonyms for Pet

  • Beloved- dearly loved: dear to the heart 
    • our beloved grandmother
  • Cherished- to hold dear: feel or show affection for 
    • cherished her friends
  • Darling- a dearly loved person
  • Dear-  highly valued: PRECIOUS
    • a dear friend
  • Favored- having an appearance or features of a particular kind 
    • Hard-favored
  • Favorite- one that is treated or regarded with special favor or liking 
    • That song is my favorite.
  • Fond- cherished with great affection: doted on 
    • our fondest hopes
  • Special- held in particular esteem 
    • a special friend

Example Sentences With the Noun and Verb Pet

Regular Verb/ English Verb Form

  • I pet her cat yesterday as I listened to my podcast.
  • Be careful when you pet my dog, he does not like new people. 
  • I am petting my favorite american english coonhound. 
  • The way she petted is very admirable since she takes care of her dog so well.


  • This is my pet, Walter, he/she is a dog. 
  • You are the teacher’s pet. 

Examples of the Word in Context

  • Taking a vacation often means leaving your beloved pets at home – but what if you didn’t have to? At these hotels, pets are welcome (though guests will want to pay attention to specific rules and fees at each one, and keep an eye out if any rules change due to the COVID-19 pandemic). –USA Today
  • The dog food was sold at retailers nationwide. The list of potentially hazardous products includes “Family Pet Meaty Cuts Beef Chicken & Cheese Flavors Premium Dog Food,” “Heartland Farms Grilled Favorites Beef Chicken & Cheese Flavor,” as well as “Paws Happy Life Butcher’s Choice Dog Food.”- USA Today 
  • Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, pet adoptions started to soar and Americans are opting to travel by car rather than airplanes. Over 71 percent of consumers are more comfortable traveling by car than plane this summer, according to Nissan. Meanwhile, more than 60 percent of recent adoptions are by those with little or no previous pet experience, a Rover report found. – USA Today
  • This little beauty was the first robot vacuum on the market with the ability to sense when it’s full and empty itself out into its base. With this device, gone will be the days of touching—or even seeing!—all of the nasty dirt and grime it picks up. And pick up, it will—in our tests, the i7+ sucked up an average of 10.5 grams of dirt per run, making it an excellent contender in the performance department—a fact that’s especially true if you happen to be a pet owner.- USA Today 
  • Shelter euthanasia is down 43% because of decreased intake, expanded fostering and an increase in the percentage of pets finding homes from January to June this year, according to Shelter Animals Count, a non-profit that helps share data on shelter animals. The community adoption rate for pets is 73% during the period, up from 64% last year, according to the organization.- USA Today 


Next time you need to write the english word pet, you will be well prepared for everything you need to know what it is and how to use it efficiently. You should feel confident with the different conjugations, the history of the word, and the definition.