noun pas·sion \ˈpa-shən\

Definition of passion

  1. 1 often capitalized a :  the sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and his deathb :  an oratorio based on a gospel narrative of the Passion Bach's St. Matthew Passion

  2. 2 obsolete :  suffering

  3. 3 :  the state or capacity of being acted on by external agents or forces moldable and not moldable … and many other passions of matter — Francis Bacon

  4. 4a (1) :  emotion his ruling passion is greed (2) passions plural :  the emotions as distinguished from reason a study of the passionsb :  intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction with enough passion to make a great poet — W. B. Yeatsc :  an outbreak of anger a crime of passion

  5. 5a :  ardent affection :  love He had never felt such passion for any woman but her.b :  a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept a passion for chess a passion for operac :  sexual desire a look of passion in her faced :  an object of desire or deep interest


play \ˈpa-shən-ləs\ adjective

Examples of passion in a Sentence

  1. If anyone had asked me what my passions were, I would have said building fires, climbing cliffs, going on long hikes in the woods … —Paul Theroux, Newsweek, 6 Aug. 2001

  2. The gods themselves had passions and frailties—these are the stuff of the myths. —James Salter, New Yorker, 4 Aug. 1997

  3. The skin is dry and as chaste and beautiful as old paper. But I remember the passion inspired by those fingers, their gifted, sly, infinitely provocative caresses and gestures. —Richard Selzer, Discover, February 1994

  4. Polo was the Khan's passion. He cared for little else, and when his armies moved, he moved with them, because he couldn't stand to be without the game. —Hunter S. Thompson, Rolling Stone, 15 Dec. 1994

  5. Everyone could see the passion in his approach to the work.

  6. a controversy that has stirred passions in Congress

  7. Her performance is full of passion and originality.

  8. She spoke with passion about preserving the building.

  9. The crime was committed in a fit of passion.

  10. Music has always been his passion.

  11. She developed a passion for opera.

  12. a student with a passion for literature

Origin and Etymology of passion

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin passion-, passio suffering, being acted upon, from Latin pati to suffer — more at patient

Synonym Discussion of passion

passion, fervor, ardor, enthusiasm, zeal mean intense emotion compelling action. passion applies to an emotion that is deeply stirring or ungovernable. was a slave to his passions fervor implies a warm and steady emotion. read the poem aloud with great fervor ardor suggests warm and excited feeling likely to be fitful or short-lived. the ardor of their honeymoon soon faded enthusiasm applies to lively or eager interest in or admiration for a proposal, cause, or activity. never showed much enthusiasm for sports zeal implies energetic and unflagging pursuit of an aim or devotion to a cause. preaches with fanatical zeal

synonyms see in addition feeling

PASSION Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of passion for English Language Learners

  • : a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something

  • : a strong feeling (such as anger) that causes you to act in a dangerous way

  • : a strong sexual or romantic feeling for someone

PASSION Defined for Kids


noun pas·sion \ˈpa-shən\

Definition of passion for Students

  1. 1 :  a strong feeling or emotion He spoke with passion.

  2. 2 :  an object of someone's love, liking, or desire Art is my passion.

  3. 3 :  strong liking or desire :  love She has a passion for music.

Law Dictionary


noun pas·sion \ˈpa-shən\

Legal Definition of passion

  1. :  intense, driving, or overpowering feeling or emotion; especially :  any violent or intense emotion that prevents reflection — see also heat of passion

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