passion

noun
pas·​sion | \ ˈpa-shən \

Definition of passion

1 often capitalized

a : the sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and his death
b : an oratorio based on a gospel narrative of the Passion Bach's St. Matthew Passion
2 obsolete : suffering
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
4a(1) : emotion his ruling passion is greed
(2) passions plural : the emotions as distinguished from reason a study of the passions
b : intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction with enough passion to make a great poet— W. B. Yeats
c : an outbreak of anger a crime of passion
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 opera
c : sexual desire a look of passion in her face
d : an object of desire or deep interest

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Other Words from passion

passionless \ ˈpa-​shən-​ləs \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of passion in a Sentence

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 The gods themselves had passions and frailties—these are the stuff of the myths. — James Salter, New Yorker, 4 Aug. 1997 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 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 Everyone could see the passion in his approach to the work. a controversy that has stirred passions in Congress Her performance is full of passion and originality. She spoke with passion about preserving the building. The crime was committed in a fit of passion. Music has always been his passion. She developed a passion for opera. a student with a passion for literature
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Recent Examples on the Web

Welcome, too, is the implicit rebuke that passion or loving your work alone can propel you to a wonderful career. Kate Bachelder Odell, WSJ, "‘Atomic Habits’ and ‘The Bullet Journal Method’ Review: New Year’s Baby Steps," 31 Dec. 2018 Blake was once a teacher obsessed with DIY home projects and interior design blogs, and turned that passion into a full-time gig. Samantha Weiss Hills, Curbed, "9 maximalist interiors that get the style right," 4 Sep. 2018 As with many hobbies, getting off on the right start is all-important, and can make the difference between fleeting interest or a potential lifelong passion. Don Melanson, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Telescopes To Get Started in Stargazing," 1 Aug. 2018 While South Florida soccer fans have been glued to the World Cup, David Beckham and his partners, eager to capitalize on that passion, have been working behind the scenes on their soon-to-be-named Miami Major League Soccer team. Michelle Kaufman, miamiherald, "Beckham's Miami MLS team 'really close' to announcing name, GM, colors," 27 June 2018 That passion is what Telemundo is hoping to capitalize on during this World Cup, and it has been used as one of its marketing campaigns: Soccer is better in Spanish. James Wagner, New York Times, "Telemundo Has a Big Goal: Win the World Cup," 23 June 2018 Kinner’s greatest trick is his ability to pair that passion for his sport with an easy-going approach that belies his competitiveness. Phil Anastasia, Philly.com, "Kingsway's Quinn Kinner is South Jersey's senior boys' athlete of the year," 16 June 2018 Yellow irises, on the other hand, are a symbol of passion, making them a lovely, cheerful and romantic gift for your Valentine. Chanel Vargas, Town & Country, "12 Best Valentine's Day Flower Arrangements for That Special Someone," 18 Dec. 2018 Naturally, that kind of passion means DelRosario and Achord have grander ambitions for this project. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "How do you preserve beloved New Orleans folk art? A Web font, of course," 23 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'passion.' 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 passion

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for passion

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

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Statistics for passion

Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for passion

The first known use of passion was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for passion

passion

noun

English Language Learners Definition of passion

: 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

noun
pas·​sion | \ ˈpa-shən \

Kids Definition of passion

1 : a strong feeling or emotion He spoke with passion.
2 : an object of someone's love, liking, or desire Art is my passion.
3 : strong liking or desire : love She has a passion for music.

passion

noun
pas·​sion | \ ˈpa-shən \

Legal Definition of passion

: 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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Comments on passion

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