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 passionless (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

From the cast-of-thousands chaos of the Exhibition Hall floor to the focused passion of the panel discussions, here are some snapshots from the great Comic-Con self-discovery tour. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Comic-Con 2019: Where the best superhero you can be is yourself," 19 July 2019 Sometimes, though, the passion can revert to a nonchalant display that costs him on the field. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "Celebrating National Hot Dog Day by examining the biggest hot-doggers in sports," 17 July 2019 The passion of true crime fans is evident with the growth of CrimeCon, launched three years ago by the New York digital media and live events company Red Seat Ventures. Stephen Battaglio, chicagotribune.com, "How Keith Morrison and ‘Dateline’ became true crime sex symbols," 15 July 2019 Whitten and his wife Kami Whitten spoke at length with Babin about the deputy’s passion for law enforcement as well as his recovery process. Marcus Gutierrez, Houston Chronicle, "Liberty County deputy honored by Congressman Brian Babin after shooting in Cleveland," 11 July 2019 When the tea party came along in 2010, it was fueled by some of the same passions. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "Ross Perot's political legacy: Clinton, populism, Trump and the tea party," 9 July 2019 Despite the scale of what's at stake and the passion on all sides, there has been very little public presence from either side of either initiative. Jessica Boehm, azcentral, "Phoenix voters could fundamentally change the city in August. Why is no one campaigning?," 8 July 2019 At 55, Hickerson, who lives in Warsaw, Indiana, still has the unrelenting passion and plain old stubbornness that pushed him into a major league career. Tyler Kraft, Indianapolis Star, "Indians pitching coach returns to baseball following 18 years in a traveling ministry," 28 June 2019 Since then the Parisians have adored it, neglected it, damaged it and desecrated it, restored and venerated it, depending on the social passions and fashions of the times. Bruce Dale, National Geographic, "Adored, neglected, and restored: A 1968 Nat Geo feature explored Notre Dame," 17 Apr. 2019

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

22 Jul 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 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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