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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Kiwanis members were among those sad to hear of the passing of longtime community activist Richard Keith Dirham at age 80. Sam Boyer, cleveland, 21 May 2021 That the archival footage is repurposed in the film is in part a metaphor for the complexity and poignancy of the passing of time. The New Yorker, 12 May 2021 What is ironic and somewhat confusing about the passing of the economic torch now taking place in Washington is that Mr. Summers himself helped to start it. Jon Hilsenrath, WSJ, 29 Apr. 2021 Kueng and Lane, rookie officers who responded to a 911 complaint about the passing of a counterfeit bill at a local market, were the first to encounter Floyd at the scene. Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2021 Several Ocoee and West Orange players paid their last respects Monday after Wilson’s passing. Chris Hays,, 27 Apr. 2021 Last Saturday, Prince Charles recorded a video statement expressing his grief over his father's passing and thanking the public for their well wishes and support. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, 15 Apr. 2021 Princess Anne released a statement about her father's passing, and his legacy. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, 12 Apr. 2021 Meanwhile, Piers Morgan, is being a bit of a jerk about his predecessor's passing—and is facing a bit of backlash. Chron, 23 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Hedberg, 66, a former NFL quarterback, is the passing-game coordinator and QBs coach at a program that’s won eight of the past 10 FCS national titles. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, 17 May 2021 And Lewis wants to make sure this isn't a passing moment. Giulia Heyward And Melissa Gray, CNN, 5 Dec. 2020 Last season in Atlanta, Quinn’s defense gave up the most passing yards (4,697), second-most yards-after-catch (92,224) and compiled the fifth fewest pass breakups (51). Calvin Watkins, Dallas News, 15 May 2021 Arizona was intent on improving a passing game that, outside of DeAndre Hopkins' heroics, largely went stale. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, 3 May 2021 The Browns’ defense gave up the 11th most passing yards in the league last year, including 31 touchdown passes, the eighth highest total in the league. Jim Ingraham, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2021 In his 10 games, Burrow had 874 more passing yards than Tagovailoa, and Herbert threw for 31 touchdowns in 15 games. Mark Inabinett |, al, 27 Mar. 2021 The defense allowed Wisconsin pass-catchers to roam free all night, and could've given up more passing yards had the Badgers not pulled on the reins after staking a 28-point lead. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, 15 Nov. 2020 A week later, Uiagalelei threw for 439 yards, the most passing yards ever given up by Notre Dame despite a 47-40 OT loss. Pete Iacobelli,, 26 Feb. 2021

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.

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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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Learn More about passing

Time Traveler for passing

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for passing

Last Updated

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Passing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for passing



English Language Learners Definition of passing

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the act of moving toward and beyond something
used to talk about the movement of time usually + of
formal : a person's death



English Language Learners Definition of passing (Entry 2 of 2)

: moving past someone or something
used to talk about time that is going past
: lasting for only a short time


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.


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