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

As Mitich discovered that he was shot, a passerby helped him hobble to a nearby office building, where a security guard let them in. Tamara Lush, Fox News, "Esports shooting survivor tells story, files lawsuit," 30 Aug. 2018 About five hours later, a passerby on Highway 1 near Mendocino, Calif., called 911 to report an SUV upside down in the surf at the bottom of a cliff. Washington Post, "Abuse, neglect and a system that failed: The tragic lives of the Hart children," 12 July 2018 On Magnolia, a passerby may spot a Range Rover parked in front of Craftwork Coffee, where two bearded men likely coiffed at the ever-popular Fort Worth Barber Shop step out for a vegan latte. Alina Dizik, WSJ, "As Homebuyers Flock In, Fort Worth Embraces its Cowtown Reputation," 17 Jan. 2019 The body was spotted by a passerby just after noon on Tuesday. Agueda Pacheco-flores, The Seattle Times, "Homicide detectives respond to body found in homeless encampment," 14 Aug. 2018 Shortly after midnight, St. Tammany deputies were working on an unrelated call when a passerby said there was a motorcycle in a ditch near the intersection of Pine Street Extension and Chris Kennedy Road, according to an STPSO news release. Marie Simoneaux,, "Man dies in motorcycle crash near Pearl River: St. Tammany Sheriff," 29 Apr. 2018 All of this is tucked behind a traditional mews-style entrance on Adam’s Row that an unknowing passerby may not give a second glance, which would explain the appeal for the first guest here--a celebrated actor in town to film a movie. Rima Suqi, WSJ, "The Apartment to Book When Work Brings You to London for a While," 11 Dec. 2018 An alert passerby is being credited with helping to avert a tragedy after spotting a baby left in the backseat of a car in Florida on Tuesday, according to police. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Florida woman realizes she left child in hot car in dramatic police video," 22 July 2018 The vehicle of a passerby also was struck by gunfire. Ashley Remkus,, "Man sentenced to life without parole for deadly double shooting," 21 Apr. 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.

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First Known Use of passerby

1567, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for passerby

Last Updated

19 Apr 2019

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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

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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

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


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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