pas·​sage | \ ˈpa-sij How to pronounce passage (audio) \

Definition of passage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a way of exit or entrance : a road, path, channel, or course by which something passes Special ships clear passages through the ice. nasal passages
b : a corridor or lobby giving access to the different rooms or parts of a building or apartment Her office is at the end of the passage.
2a : the action or process of passing from one place, condition, or stage to another the passage of food through the digestive system
b : death sense 1a when he is fit and seasoned for his passage— William Shakespeare
c : a continuous movement or flow the passage of time
3a(1) : a specific act of traveling or passing especially by sea or air a long ocean passage
(2) : a privilege of conveyance as a passenger : accommodations was able to secure passage on the next flight
b : the passing of a legislative measure or law : enactment a bill's passage into law
4 : a right, liberty, or permission to pass attempted to force passage through the town— C. A. Willoughby
5a : something that happens or is done : incident The soldier related some exciting passages.
b : something that takes place between two persons mutually the passage of vows between bride and groom
6a : a usually brief portion of a written work or speech that is relevant to a point under discussion or noteworthy for content or style quoted a passage from the Bible
b : a phrase or short section of a musical composition The violinist played the challenging passages with great virtuosity.
c : a detail of a work of art (such as a painting) the picture contains several pretty passages of color— Clive Bell
7 : the act or action of passing something or undergoing a passing The computer facilitates the rapid passage of information.
8 : incubation (see incubate sense 1b) of a pathogen (such as a virus) in culture, a living organism, or a developing egg


passaged; passaging

Definition of passage (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to go past or across : cross

transitive verb

: to subject to passage passaged a virus

Synonyms for passage

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of passage in a Sentence

Noun We squeezed through a narrow passage between the rocks. Special ships clear passages through the ice. The medicine makes breathing easier by opening nasal passages. They controlled the passage of goods through their territory. the passage of food through the digestive system the passage of air into and out of the lungs the passage from life to death the passage of the seasons He left after the passage of a few hours. With the passage of time, the number of children suffering with the disease has decreased dramatically. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun President Joe Biden lashed out at Senate Republicans yesterday for blocking the passage of the Women's Health Protection Act. Alexandra Meeks, CNN, 12 May 2022 Brain-computer interfaces are ultimately going to enable a passage of information that goes beyond the limitations of the human body. New York Times, 12 May 2022 But with the copyright set to expire in 1984, Disney lobbied for reform and secured the passage of the Copyright Act of 1976. Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 May 2022 As Anne’s body begins to betray her and her academics and relationships suffer, the movie becomes a clock-ticking thriller, with chapter markers indicating the passage of another week of her pregnancy. Justin Changfilm Critic, Los Angeles Times, 5 May 2022 The child understands the passage of time and causality: The blocks must be stacked up before they can be knocked down. Charles Simon, Forbes, 4 May 2022 At a rally outside the state Capitol, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, urged lawmakers to start passage of an amendment to the state constitution in upcoming weeks. Jennifer Calfas, WSJ, 3 May 2022 But Alice so keenly empathizes with the Artist’s desire to fully experience the passage of time that the extreme character of his work begins to seem natural. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, 29 Apr. 2022 Florida’s lengthy and contentious redistricting process crossed its final hurdle on Thursday with the state legislature’s passage of a Republican-favoring map backed by GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis. Rick Klein, ABC News, 22 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Recovering America's Wildlife Act drew one step closer to passage last week when it was approved by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10 Apr. 2022 China could also have violated UNCLOS if evidence emerges that the Chinese ship was conducting military actions, research or survey activities, information that could harm Philippine defense or security, or any other activity unrelated to passage. Jill Goldenziel, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2022 So far not a single new treatment bed has been funded since Measure 110′s passage to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of heroin and other street drugs and set up a system to refer and treat those suffering from addiction. oregonlive, 12 Apr. 2022 House Government Operations Chairwoman Shane Pendergrass (D-Howard) helped push the law to passage during 28th and final legislative session. Washington Post, 9 Apr. 2022 The House voted to approve the debate rules for the measure Tuesday, a key step on the way to passage. Emily Caldwell, Dallas News, 21 Sep. 2021 Lewandowski is currently on international duty with Poland, who will face Sweden in a qualifying final on Sunday that grants passage to the 2022 World Cup in November. Tom Sanderson, Forbes, 26 Mar. 2022 So the bills passage out of the Senate is a major win for advocates. Kaitlin Lange, The Indianapolis Star, 1 Mar. 2022 Carlson will be joined by four survivors who testified on Capitol Hill in support of the bill, as well as the four lawmakers who helped shepherd the bill to passage in the House and Senate. Phil Mattingly And Maegan Vazquez, CNN, 3 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'passage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of passage


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1824, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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Time Traveler for passage

Time Traveler

The first known use of passage was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near passage



passage bed

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Statistics for passage

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Passage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for passage


pas·​sage | \ ˈpa-sij How to pronounce passage (audio) \

Kids Definition of passage

1 : a space or path by which something or someone can go through
2 : a brief part of a speech or written work
3 : the act or process of going from one place or condition to another Our ship made a smooth passage.
4 : the act of approving a law
5 : a right or permission to go as a passenger She obtained passage aboard the ship.


pas·​sage | \ ˈpas-ij How to pronounce passage (audio) \

Medical Definition of passage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the action or process of passing from one place, condition, or stage to another the passage of air from the lungsEncyclopedia Americana
2 : an anatomical channel the nasal passages
3 : a movement or an evacuation of the bowels
4a : an act or action of passing something or undergoing a passing passage of a catheter through the urethra
b : incubation of a pathogen (as a virus) in a tissue culture, a developing egg, or a living organism to increase the amount of pathogen or to alter its characteristics several passages of the virus through mice


transitive verb
passaged; passaging

Medical Definition of passage (Entry 2 of 2)

: to subject to passage the virus has been passaged in series seven timesJournal of the American Medical Association

More from Merriam-Webster on passage

Nglish: Translation of passage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of passage for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about passage


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