passion

noun
pas·​sion | \ ˈpa-shən How to pronounce passion (audio) \

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 How to pronounce passion (audio) \ 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 His passion for telling stories is what made spending time with him fun. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Veteran Music Publicist Randy Alexander Dead at 62," 28 Dec. 2020 Harrold, who was born and raised in Ferguson, Mo., developed a passion for music at an early age, according to his website. NBC News, "Video shows woman falsely accusing Black teen of stealing phone she left in Uber," 28 Dec. 2020 While his personal strike is unusual, his passion over the housing-code rewrite is not. Elizabeth Findell, WSJ, "‘Startup City’: Accelerated Growth Strains Austin," 27 Dec. 2020 Lenora covers Europe, and with 15 years experience in the U.S. and China, her reporting skews toward the intersection of politics, education and culture — a passion borne in part from growing up with Chinese parents in America. Lenora Chu, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘A true outsider’s perspective’: Lenora Chu on the power of cultural influences (audio)," 23 Dec. 2020 Nan Shepherd was a Scottish teacher with a passion for her local mountains, the Cairngorms. Annalena Mcafee, WSJ, "Five Best: Memoirs of the Scottish Highlands," 18 Dec. 2020 Her mother, Marguerite Bush, was a longtime community activist whose passion for helping others was a guiding light for Ms. Sutton. New York Times, "Carol Sutton, a Stage and Screen Actress Devoted to New Orleans, Dies at 76," 14 Dec. 2020 Don’t be afraid to let your love for your product and brand shine through—your passion is contagious and will ignite your audience. Noel Cody, Essence, "10 Tips for Building a Winning Pitch: Do's & Don'ts," 9 Dec. 2020 Ragland grew up on the city's north side, and like so many Black boys, his passion was basketball. James E. Causey, jsonline.com, "Black male teachers can have a profound impact in the classroom. Unfortunately, they're a rarity.," 19 Nov. 2020

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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Learn More about passion

Time Traveler for passion

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for passion

Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Passion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/passion. Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for passion

passion

noun
How to pronounce passion (audio)

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 How to pronounce passion (audio) \

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 How to pronounce passion (audio) \

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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