pas·​sel | \ˈpa-səl \

Definition of passel 

: a large number or amount

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Passel and Parcel

The loss of the sound of "r" after a vowel and before another consonant in the middle of a word is common in spoken English. This linguistic idiosyncrasy has given our language a few new words, such as cuss from curse, bust from burst, and our featured word passel from parcel. The spelling passel originated in the 15th century, but the word's use as a collective noun for an indefinite number is a 19th-century Americanism. It was common primarily in local-color writing before getting a boost in the 1940s, when it began appearing in popular weekly magazines such as Time, Newsweek, and Saturday Review.

Examples of passel in a Sentence

reporters had a whole passel of questions for the new basketball coach the young couple had a passel of babies in the span of a few years

Recent Examples on the Web

Gone are the days when CC Sabathia or Carlos Beltran would change hands midseason with a passel of prospects coming back in return. Tom Verducci,, "Nine Innings: How Bryce Harper Is Trying to Revive His Season, What We Learned in the First Half and More," 9 July 2018 Beijing then threatened 25% tariffs on U.S. soybeans shortly after the U.S. targeted a passel of Chinese goods for alleged violation of U.S. intellectual property laws. Jesse Newman, WSJ, "Trump Looks to Assuage Trade Critics With Farm Package," 11 Apr. 2018 In its fourth year, the three-day music festival boasts major stars of the genre as well as a passel of up-and-coming acts. Chrissie Dickinson,, "Country Lakeshake bringing the best, the brightest and everybody else," 19 June 2018 Instead, the kids politely stumbled their way through the passel of old gadgets, doggedly trying to figure out some of the technical challenges of the time. Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, "Video: We force kids to confront ’80s technology," 24 Apr. 2018 LinkedIn is about to roll out a passel of features aimed at drawing people regularly. Jay Greene, WSJ, "LinkedIn’s $27 Billion Challenge: Get People to Use It More," 16 Mar. 2018 Michael, one of six siblings, had a passel of nieces and nephews; Lou worked with foster kids at a social service agency. Anndee Hochman,, "The Parent Trip: Lou and Michael GrowMiller of Glenside," 30 Jan. 2018 Guests included representatives of the Boys & Girls Clubs, Ramona Chamber of Commerce, Ramona Rotary Club, the Conrad Prebys Trust and a passel of children of all ages. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Ribbon cutting celebrates Boys & Girls Club expansion," 24 Jan. 2018 On his show, Carlson mocks and verbally body-slams those who disagree with him, a passel of easy marks such as Democratic politicians, well-meaning liberal activists, and young reporters. Stephen Rodrick, GQ, "Tucker Carlson Is Sorry for Being Mean," 19 Sep. 2017

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

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First Known Use of passel

1835, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for passel

alteration of parcel

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Time Traveler for passel

The first known use of passel was in 1835

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English Language Learners Definition of passel

: a large number or group of people or things

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What made you want to look up passel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a private place of worship

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