pass·​ing | \ ˈpa-siŋ How to pronounce passing (audio) \

Definition of passing

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: the act of one that passes or causes to pass especially : death sense 1a
in passing
: by the way : incidentally



Definition of passing (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : going by or past a passing pedestrian
2 : having a brief duration a passing whim
3 obsolete : surpassing
4 : superficial a passing acquaintance a passing resemblance
5a : of, relating to, or used in or for the act or process of passing passing lanes
b : given on satisfactory completion of an examination or course of study a passing grade



Definition of passing (Entry 3 of 3)

: to a surpassing degree : exceedingly passing strange

Examples of passing in a Sentence

Noun After her husband's passing, she moved to a smaller house. We all mourned his passing. Adjective Someone called out from a passing car. She sells flowers to passing motorists. Let's hope that these shoes are just a passing fad. a passing phase in childhood Adverb a passing strange turn of events See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The march to Sunday’s final against Germany has energized people throughout England, with the team’s pinpoint passing and flashy goals attracting record crowds, burgeoning TV ratings and adoring coverage. Danica Kirka, The Christian Science Monitor, 29 July 2022 England struggled from the start with Spain’s smart passing and tough tackling, while winger Del Castillo was a force on the right flank after coming on at halftime. Tim Bielik, cleveland, 26 July 2022 Like myself, my parents were saddened Thursday to hear about the passing of Ivana Trump, first wife of former President Donald Trump, and a true socialite of New York yet also a kind lady who never forgot her Hungarian roots. Philip Potempa, Chicago Tribune, 15 July 2022 It’s about agility, speed, quality passing and simply going forward. Josh Reed, Anchorage Daily News, 8 July 2022 Beyond the occasional zone-busting high school play, the team mostly runs a motion offense filled with passing and cutting, the same style the players are used to from Lawrence North. Wilson Moore, The Indianapolis Star, 5 July 2022 Significant moments during her tenure include the passing of strict gun laws in the wake of the Christchurch terrorist attack, as well as the country's swift response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Quinci Legardye, Harper's BAZAAR, 2 July 2022 There are plenty of fun activities available to your child, such as miniature ship-building, water balloon powder passing, and temporary sailor tattooing., 30 June 2022 Stallions quarterback J’Mar Smith was 17-for-27 with 190 passing yards and had a passing and a rushing touchdown in the win. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, 26 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Cooper, Watson and Brissett are first-time teammates, and the wide receiver has been working to develop a passing-game rapport with the quarterbacks during the offseason and now at training camp, which started this week. Mark Inabinett |, al, 28 July 2022 On snaps where Burrow lined up in shotgun formation, defenses expected the quick passing game. Charlie Goldsmith, The Enquirer, 27 July 2022 As McBride took the lead on the ground most times, Brown contributed in the passing game as well as in the rushing game. Evan Dudley, al, 12 July 2022 Knapp, who lived in Danville, was hired by the Jets in January as part of new coach Robert Saleh’s staff, serving as the passing game specialist. Dennis Waszak Jr., San Francisco Chronicle, 22 July 2021 Former offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni took passing game specialist Kevin Patullo and tight ends coach Jason Michael with him to Philadelphia. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, 31 Mar. 2021 The Honda is also punchier when simulating a passing maneuver on the highway, going from 50 to 70 mph in 4.5 seconds versus the Kia’s 5.0-second result. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, 29 June 2022 In the early days of the NFL’s evolution to a passing league, the third cornerback was often either in zone or matched up against a short receiver, but the nickel has become a defensive coordinator’s Swiss Army knife. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, 8 June 2022 One foundational element of the Sonoran hot dog that is rarely given more than just a passing breath of attention is its foundation — the bun. Minerva Orduño Rincón, The Arizona Republic, 6 June 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of passing


14th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for passing

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The first known use of passing was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near passing



passing bell

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Statistics for passing

Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Passing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for passing


pass·​ing | \ ˈpa-siŋ How to pronounce passing (audio) \

Kids Definition of passing

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : going by or past passing cars
2 : lasting only for a short time a passing fad
3 : showing haste or lack of attention a passing glance
4 : used for going past passing lanes
5 : showing satisfactory work in a test or course of study a passing mark



Kids Definition of passing (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of going by or going away We await the passing of winter.

More from Merriam-Webster on passing

Nglish: Translation of passing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of passing for Arabic Speakers


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