pas·​sel | \ ˈpa-səl How to pronounce passel (audio) \

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 On the men's side, the Olympics could also be an important tournament for the country's passel of promising young players, since the men's tournament is contested by under-23 teams rather than full squads. Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "A lot to gain (or lose) in 2021 for U.S. national teams," 30 Oct. 2020 The writers packed the first two seasons with a passel of Easter eggs, and now EW has the stories behind 12 of the most notable callbacks to Daniel-san's big-screen journey. Kristen Baldwin,, "12 Karate Kid Easter eggs in Cobra Kai and the stories behind them," 4 Sep. 2020 Then, in January 2019, the core launched another commercial mission, sending a passel of Iridium satellites into space. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "SpaceX flies the same, sooty booster for the sixth time [Updated]," 18 Aug. 2020 Setup requires some prep work with an ax, a couple of large logs, and a passel of good friends. T. Edward Nickens, Field & Stream, "Wild Fires," 9 Jan. 2017 This year’s report, along with other data ProPublica has collected on the state of the IRS, is full of evidence that the IRS has hit a passel of historic lows. Paul Kiel, ProPublica, "Has the IRS Hit Bottom?," 30 June 2020 April 1, 2020 There’s also a passel of less celebrated drugs and therapies that are being tested in the United States and abroad. Melissa Healystaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Malaria drugs aren’t the only ones on the shelf that might help coronavirus patients," 3 Apr. 2020 This neighbor had a nice family with a stair-step passel of children of an indeterminate number. Steve Meyer, Anchorage Daily News, "If man had to hunt to survive, how long would our stocks of fish and game last?," 22 Mar. 2020 The board, which was 20 minutes late in coming into public session from behind closed doors, conducted a passel of routine business before punting on the only item that could have sparked confrontation — the annual election of board officers. David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, "Wayne State University board conducts routine business, which is news," 31 Jan. 2020

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of passel was in 1835

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Last Updated

9 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Passel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

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How to pronounce passel (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of passel

US, informal : a large number or group of people or things

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