pass·er·by | \ˌpa-sər-ˈbī, ˈpa-sər-ˌbī\
plural passersby\ˌpa-sərz-ˈbī, ˈpa-sərz-ˌbī \

Definition of passerby 

: one who passes by A passerby saw the accident and offered to help.

Examples of passerby in a Sentence

A passerby saw the accident and stopped to help. Passersby were asked if they were registered to vote.

Recent Examples on the Web

David Buckel, 60, was pronounced dead at about 6:30 a.m. after a passerby spotted his charred remains in a Brooklyn park, police told the Associated Press. Stephanie Petit,, "Prominent Lawyer David Buckel Dies After Setting Himself on Fire to Protest Environmental Destruction," 15 Apr. 2018 Days before a passerby spotted the wrecked SUV 100 feet below the turnout on the rocky California shoreline, the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services opened a case into the family. Rebecca Woolington,, "Hart family deadly crash: Speedometer in wrecked SUV 'pinned' at 90 mph, report says," 31 Mar. 2018 Christopher Audet, 45, of Penacook, was pronounced dead at the scene after his body was discovered by a passerby in the area of Island Shore Estates at about 4:55 p.m., New Hampshire State Police said. Adam Sennott,, "NH man pulled from river identified," 13 July 2018 Cook’s body was discovered by a passerby near Banks and Lummistown Roads in the Cedarville area. Max Cohen,, "$1,000 reward offered for clues in death of South Jersey woman who was dismembered and burned," 11 July 2018 Blood oozing from a gash in his leg, Walsh crawled home until an unidentified passerby noticed the 10-year-old on the ground and helped him get back to his house in Austin, Texas. Josh Magness, star-telegram, "She drove into a boy and sped away 'very scared,' Texas cops say. He had to crawl home | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 29 Mar. 2018 Officers were called to the scene at about 5:20 p.m. Thursday after a passerby noticed the body. Indianapolis Star, "Body found in White River north of Broad Ripple," 15 Mar. 2018 According to the criminal complaint: A passerby’s dogs first noticed the toddler’s cries from a car shortly before 5:30 a.m. June 30 along the 6400 block of South 35th Street in Franklin. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mother was fishing, drinking while child was locked in car on hot day in Franklin, complaint says," 10 July 2018 Ticks will hang out in vegetation and wait for a passerby, and some have been shown to be attracted to nearby sources of heat and carbon dioxide. Anna Groves, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Don't panic over first Rocky Mountain spotted fever death in Wisconsin, but be careful," 12 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of passerby

1567, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about passerby

Statistics for passerby

Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for passerby

The first known use of passerby was in 1567

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for passerby



English Language Learners Definition of passerby

: a person who walks by something on a street or road


pass·er·by | \ˌpa-sər-ˈbī \
plural passersby\-sərz-ˈbī \

Kids Definition of passerby

: someone who goes by

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on passerby

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


lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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