passing

1 of 3

noun

pass·​ing ˈpa-siŋ How to pronounce passing (audio)
: the act of one that passes or causes to pass
especially : death sense 1a

passing

2 of 3

adjective

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
5
a
: 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

passing

3 of 3

adverb

: to a surpassing degree : exceedingly
passing strange
Phrases
in passing
: by the way : incidentally

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
Performed in-the-round on a generic classroom set by Sadra Tehrani that notes the passing of time by the rotation of desks on the stage, the play tracks the evolving classroom dynamics. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 7 Feb. 2024 Our community mourns the passing of SDSU alumnus Carl Weathers. Kirk Kenney, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Feb. 2024 The home surveillance debate, which has exploded in recent months, hampering the passing of routine legislation, has largely focused on Section 702, an authority under which the government monitors the calls, texts, and emails of foreign nationals. Dell Cameron, WIRED, 26 Jan. 2024 Seated together, Michelle and I tearfully recounted the traumatic events of our mother’s passing. Katie James Watkinson, Condé Nast Traveler, 26 Jan. 2024 In honor of his passing, the Beverly Hills 90210 Show excerpted Gail’s guest appearance on the podcast. Vulture, 21 Jan. 2024 In the Norwegian film, Mahler and his daughter, Anna, mourn the too early passing of his grandson. Marta Balaga, Variety, 20 Jan. 2024 My changing restaurant preferences mark the passing of time. Blair Kerkhoff, Kansas City Star, 19 Jan. 2024 But questions surrounding his tragic passing in a plane crash, and his sexuality, refuse to die down. Marta Balaga, Variety, 24 Jan. 2024
Adjective
With every passing week, however, the light dims as those documenting the war leave, quit or die. Gaya Gupta, New York Times, 30 Jan. 2024 Theme of the season: NCAA outlook With each passing week, the Pac-12’s outlook for a respectable haul of March Madness bids becomes incrementally more dire. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, 21 Jan. 2024 Getting a passing mark doesn’t just mean sharing the ball. Thuc Nhi Nguyen, Los Angeles Times, 12 Jan. 2024 Even during the rainy season, the island blooms green and lush, making the passing afternoon showers seem worth it. Carley Rojas Avila, Travel + Leisure, 26 Dec. 2023 The spell Emily’s Wuthering Heights (1847) cast on me has strengthened with every passing year. Vogue, 30 Dec. 2023 With each passing week, more and more runners have been drawn to its warm, hospitable community. Pamela Chelin, Los Angeles Times, 20 Dec. 2023 With every passing year, Big Ears feels more like home to me—and more like an institution for listeners seeking the sublime. Spin Staff, SPIN, 13 Dec. 2023 These are two of the country’s best defenses — Ohio State allows the fewest passing yards of any team, and Michigan gives up the fewest points — so one big play could decide this one. Melissa Kirsch Andrew Lavallee Melissa Clark, New York Times, 25 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near passing

Cite this Entry

“Passing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/passing. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

passing

1 of 2 noun
pass·​ing ˈpas-iŋ How to pronounce passing (audio)
1
: the act of one that passes or causes to pass
2

passing

2 of 2 adjective
1
: going by or past
the passing crowd
2
: lasting only for a short time
especially : showing haste or lack of attention : hasty, superficial
a passing glance
3
: used for the act or process of passing
the passing lane
4
: given on satisfactory completion of an examination or course of study
a passing grade

More from Merriam-Webster on passing

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