passage

1 of 2

noun

pas·​sage ˈpa-sij How to pronounce passage (audio)
1
a
: 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.
2
a
: 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 passageWilliam Shakespeare
c
: a continuous movement or flow
the passage of time
3
a(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 townC. A. Willoughby
5
a
: 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
6
a
: 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 colorClive 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

passage

2 of 2

verb

passaged; passaging

intransitive verb

: to go past or across : cross

transitive verb

: to subject to passage
passaged a virus

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
With its passage unlikely, the Council pulled the vote from its February 9 agenda. Jon McGowan, Forbes, 28 Feb. 2024 Populations of California’s other pinniped species, such as harbor seals and sea lions, also have rebounded to healthy levels since passage of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, said Allen. Lisa M. Krieger, The Mercury News, 27 Feb. 2024 Some evaporated as auto plants moved to Mexico since the passage of NAFTA and as some auto manufacturing shifted to nonunion plants in Southern states. Chris Isidore, CNN, 27 Feb. 2024 All 11 members have signed on as sponsors, guaranteeing its passage. Janie Har, Fortune, 27 Feb. 2024 After its passage, more than 100 inmates facing the death penalty filed claims under the RJA. Essence, 27 Feb. 2024 Its passage last summer corresponded with a drop in homelessness downtown, more people asking for shelter and an increase in riverbed encampments. Blake Nelson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Feb. 2024 But the bill’s potential passage does not mean the work is done, activists say. Jenna Barackman, Kansas City Star, 23 Feb. 2024 For Maimonides, however, language like these passages in Genesis was allegorical. Randy L. Friedman, The Conversation, 16 Feb. 2024
Verb
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who has been critical of Biden's handling of Ukraine and other national security issues, is nevertheless pushing past the isolationists in his party to marshal the national security package to passage. Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports, arkansasonline.com, 11 Feb. 2024 Ellroy reads all of the narrative passages himself, with a series of actors — including Brian Cox, Elliott Gould, Maya Hawke, Bobby Cannavale and Matt Dillon — reading the dialogue. Lacey Rose, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Feb. 2024 But far-right members of the GOP conference, furious with Johnson’s deal with Schumer, could throw obstacles in the way, slowing the path to passage and jamming the government up against yet another potential shutdown. Jacob Bogage, Washington Post, 16 Jan. 2024 Seventy-five years ago, on December 10, 1948, Eleanor Roosevelt, former first lady, got a standing ovation for guiding to passage the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Joseph Loconte, National Review, 10 Dec. 2023 But Republicans in the House and Senate are divided over the issue, creating a major obstacle to passage anytime soon. Rachel Cohrs, STAT, 1 Dec. 2023 The imminent funding deadline joins a to-do list on Capitol Hill that includes emergency aid for Israel and Ukraine, which also has no obvious path to passage amid fierce disputes among lawmakers. Jeff Stein, Washington Post, 7 Nov. 2023 The date, distance, or direction have been changed eight times because of warm weather, winter rain, a lack of snow, or open water on Lake Hayward, which was historically frozen, allowing skiers passage to the finish line. Tatiana Schlossberg, Outside Online, 25 Mar. 2023 Instead, the other three bills came into focus, as Congress surprised the skeptics to deliver legislation to passage. Lisa Mascaro, Fortune, 15 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'passage.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

1824, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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

Dictionary Entries Near passage

Cite this Entry

“Passage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/passage. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

passage

noun
pas·​sage
ˈpas-ij
1
: the action or process of passing from one place or condition to another
2
a
: a road, path, channel, or course by which something can pass
3
b
: a right to travel as a passenger
book passage on an airplane
4
: the passing of a law
5
: a usually brief portion of a written work or speech or of a musical composition

Medical Definition

passage

1 of 2 noun
pas·​sage ˈpas-ij How to pronounce passage (audio)
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
4
a
: 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

passage

2 of 2 transitive verb
passaged; passaging
: to subject to passage
the virus has been passaged in series seven timesJournal of the American Medical Association

More from Merriam-Webster on passage

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!