pass·​er·​by | \ ˌpa-sər-ˈbī How to pronounce passerby (audio) , ˈpa-sər-ˌbī\
plural passersby\ ˌpa-​sərz-​ˈbī How to pronounce passersby (audio) , 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 Lane, a Denver civil rights lawyer who represents the family of Allan George, released video recorded by a passerby who stopped to watch police engage with the 57-year-old. Noelle Phillips, The Denver Post, "Lawyers release video of Rifle police shooting man in the back as he jogs away," 14 Sep. 2019 The previous year, video footage captured an unprovoked assault as a passerby stopped on a San Francisco sidewalk to twice kick a sleeping homeless man in the face. Rob Kuznia, Washington Post, "As hate crime laws expand, who to exclude as victims?," 12 Sep. 2019 News of the fruit growing in the unlikely place was first published by the New York Times on Wednesday along with a photo taken by a passerby, Matthew Frey. Ana Calderone,, "A Lone Tomato Plant Was Spotted Growing in the Middle of the East River," 5 Sep. 2019 During the process, a passerby stopped outside of the building to read the news articles about the opening taped in the window. Justin Phillips,, "Wrecking Ball Coffee’s upcoming Berkeley cafe will be about much more than just coffee," 16 Aug. 2019 The fire, in the 5100 block of Jolly Acres Road, was reported by a passerby at nearly 3:30 in the morning Wednesday, according to a notice of investigation from the Office of the State Fire Marshal. Aegis Staff,, "Fire destroys vacant house in White Hall," 8 Aug. 2019 However, weeks earlier a bomb inside a wicker basket placed in the middle of a rural roadway in Anderson County had exploded after a passerby stopped to examine it, the release said. Fox News, "South Carolina ‘terrorist sympathizer’ placed bomb inside teddy bear, FBI says," 19 June 2019 The two officers were working overtime jobs patrolling along South Gessner around 8:30 a.m. when a passerby flagged them down about a man at a nearby car wash threatening people with a gun, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Houston police say officer kills armed man outside elementary school," 16 Sep. 2019 However, as a disabled woman walking through the world, especially in such a packed city like New York, my disability is often the only thing passerby see in me. Sarah Kim, Teen Vogue, "I Spent Years Accepting Mistreatment Because of My Disability," 13 Sep. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of passerby

1567, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for passerby

Last Updated

4 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for passerby

The first known use of passerby was in 1567

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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 How to pronounce passerby (audio) \
plural passersby\ -​sərz-​ˈbī \

Kids Definition of passerby

: someone who goes by

More from Merriam-Webster on passerby

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with passerby

Spanish Central: Translation of passerby

Nglish: Translation of passerby for Spanish Speakers

Comments on passerby

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suitable to be imparted to the public

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