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Can the phrase "reveling in the past" also mean "to live in the past"? Also, is it spelled "reveling" or "revelling" as the online Merriam-Webster dictionary shows it both ways?

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To revel in something means:

to get great pleasure from a situation or an activity She usually got the jobs she wanted, and she reveled in them.

This is not quite the same as living in the past:

to react to conditions that existed long ago rather than those that exist now

To live in the past implies more of not paying attention to one's current situation. To revel in the past implies that one derives enjoyment from it, but not that the person is so absorbed that they don't pay attention to current situations.

As to the spelling: reveling is the American English spelling; revelling is more often used in British English.

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Alright, that makes since. What would be another way of saying "living in the past" then? (If I may ask) – LordZardeck Sep 7 '11 at 2:22
@LordZardeck: You could say that someone is "stuck in the past". – simchona Sep 7 '11 at 2:24
I was looking for a more "stronger" impression of the phrase. "stuck" and "live" just don't move me if you know what I mean. – LordZardeck Sep 7 '11 at 2:26
@LordZardeck: Then I suggest asking another question--I'm sure other people have better ideas. You can look through phrase-requests for similar questions – simchona Sep 7 '11 at 2:28
What about to be "bound to the past". Would that work? I'm trying to use it in this context: "To be bound to the past can cause destruction for one's future. Yet how can one leave the past, if it is the only way for him to live in the present?" – LordZardeck Sep 7 '11 at 2:37

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