pass·​er·​by ˌpa-sər-ˈbī How to pronounce passerby (audio)
plural passersby ˌpa-sərz-ˈbī How to pronounce passerby (audio)
: one who passes by
A passerby saw the accident and offered to help.

Example Sentences

A passerby saw the accident and stopped to help. Passersby were asked if they were registered to vote.
Recent Examples on the Web As Beer stresses, for a long time it was commonly thought, if only half-consciously, that any woman who revealed her private self in print was not only immodest but metaphorically a prostitute, available to any passerby who could afford to pay for her book. Michael Dirda, Washington Post, 5 Jan. 2023 On Sunday evening, a passerby called first responders and told them that someone—or something—was stuck inside the sculpture. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Apr. 2023 On April 27, a concerned passerby called police about a man passed out inside of a vehicle parked on Ridge Road. John Benson, cleveland, 18 May 2022 Another student on the bus attempted to administer first aid, per local station WSAZ, and a passerby had helped put the bus in park, according to WMTW. Olivia Jakiel,, 16 Mar. 2022 Jagolinzer’s family alleges they weren’t properly trained to use one, however, so a passerby who happened to be a nurse stopped to use the defibrillator and provide CPR. Jonathan Edwards, Washington Post, 22 Feb. 2023 Seemingly every passerby identified with one over the other. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, 16 Feb. 2023 Lost child, Westbrook Drive: On Sept. 17, a concerned passerby called police after discovering a toddler walking around alone in a Westbrook Drive apartment complex. John Benson, cleveland, 5 Oct. 2022 Per the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, the 50-year-old woman was reportedly hit by a Ford F-150 pickup truck and later found by a passerby. Kirsty Hatcher, Peoplemag, 10 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'passerby.' 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

1567, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of passerby was in 1567

Dictionary Entries Near passerby

Cite this Entry

“Passerby.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


pass·​er·​by ˌpas-ər-ˈbī How to pronounce passerby (audio)
plural passersby ˌpas-ərz- How to pronounce passerby (audio)
: one who passes by

More from Merriam-Webster on passerby

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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