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 Blanton never atoned for his sins but his passing at this moment seems fitting. CNN, "The last convicted Birmingham church bomber has died in prison," 26 June 2020 As news of Schumacher’s passing has spread, though, that’s not how the movies are being remembered. Angela Watercutter, Wired, "Joel Schumacher and the Non-Crisis of Infinite Batmans," 26 June 2020 But Darrell’s passing also propels me toward love, inspiring me to chat up strangers, speak up for the helpless, and use my voice and my writing to make others, whatever their color or culture or nationality, feel seen. Donna Britt, Washington Post, "My brother was killed by police. Now I ask, who does George Floyd belong to?," 26 June 2020 Tagovailoa headed for the NFL as Alabama’s all-time leader in touchdown passes and the holder of the NCAA FBS record for career passing-efficiency rating at 199.4. Mark Inabinett |, al, "How does Tua Tagovailoa deal with social-media trolls?," 25 June 2020 This 11-inch cast-resin garden stone is made to last and is personalized with a name (up to 20 characters) and the years of their birth and passing. Dana Holmes, CNN Underscored, "30 gifts for someone dealing with grief," 25 June 2020 In order to take some attention away from McCowan in the post, Cox said first-year coach Marianne Stanley wants to utilize her passing and 3-point shooting to keep defenses on their toes. Akeem Glaspie, The Indianapolis Star, "Fever rookie Lauren Cox: Competitor, inspiration, ready to return basketball," 21 June 2020 His passing sparked a fierce battle over the company between his two sons, Mukesh and his brother Anil. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, "11 deals for $15 billion in 10 weeks: Why India’s Jio Platforms is on an investment spree," 20 June 2020 With Emmanuel Sanders having left to sign with the New Orleans Saints in free agency, Samuel is expected to serve as the team's top receiver and No. 2 target in the passing game behind all-pro tight end George Kittle. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel suffers broken foot, per report," 19 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Cowherd vehemently disagreed last week with a Pro Football Focus projection that Burrow will have more passing yards and touchdowns this season than Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. Dave Clark, The Enquirer, "Joe Burrow is clear NFL rookie of the year favorite, per Yahoo's Schwab," 23 June 2020 Jordan’s relationship started in a similar way to that of fellow 2022 Texas native Bear Alexander, with former passing game coordinator Mike Yurcich making the first contact. Stephen Means, cleveland, "Austin Jordan, 4-star 2022 CB, says earning Ohio State football offer was ‘mind-blowing’: Buckeyes Recruiting Roundup," 16 June 2020 While Tampa Bay yielded the fewest rushing yards in the NFL last season, the Bucs gave up the third-most passing yards in 2019. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Carlton Davis plays with Mamba mentality in Bucs secondary," 14 June 2020 Sherman headlined the secondary on a defense that allowed the fewest passing yards in the NFL since the 2009 Jets. Eric Branch,, "49ers’ Richard Sherman on Super Bowl: ‘Nobody’s played a perfect game yet’," 10 June 2020 If the app is too sensitive, and reports every passing contact, a large number of people will get mobile alerts who in reality have little danger of having contracted the disease. Dennis Pillion |, al, "Alabama balances privacy against accuracy in contact tracing app," 29 May 2020 Throwing the ball wasn’t necessarily a staple of the Jaguars’ offense, either, as their passing leader had 900 yards in 2019. Bloomington Herald-Times, "IU football grad transfer hopes to be dual-threat tight end," 28 May 2020 Manning also owns the single-season passing yards record (5,477 in 2013) and his 121.1 quarterback rating in 2004 is No. 2 all-time. Nat Newell, Indianapolis Star, "Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady: Who is better?," 28 May 2020 But whatever the shock, today's explosion in super-short-term borrowing could turn what would have been a passing tremor into a devastating earthquake. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "The real risk isn’t the federal government’s exploding debt. It’s how it is structured that’s so dangerous," 28 May 2020

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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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

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Passing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for passing


How to pronounce passing (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on passing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for passing

Spanish Central: Translation of passing

Nglish: Translation of passing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of passing for Arabic Speakers

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