pass·​port ˈpas-ˌpȯrt How to pronounce passport (audio)
plural passports
: a formal document issued by an authorized official of a country to one of its citizens that is usually necessary for exit from and reentry into the country, that allows the citizen to travel in a foreign country in accordance with visa requirements, and that requests protection for the citizen while abroad
: a license issued by a country permitting a foreign citizen to pass or take goods through its territory : safe-conduct
: a document of identification required by law to be carried by persons residing or traveling within a country
: a permission or authorization to go somewhere
: something that secures admission, acceptance, or attainment
education as a passport to success

see also vaccine passport

Examples of passport in a Sentence

meeting that movie director could be your passport to a big acting career to its followers, the cult seemed like their passport to heaven
Recent Examples on the Web There are two zip-closure pockets on the outside of the bag, providing secure, but easy access to essentials like headphones, passports, and boarding passes. Kevin Brouillard, Travel + Leisure, 26 Sep. 2023 Certain passport offices -- particularly those located inside federal buildings -- could close during a government shutdown, potentially worsening a major backlog. Sarah Beth Hensley, ABC News, 25 Sep. 2023 In her filing, the actress also alleges that Jonas is refusing to relinquish their passports. Hannah Dailey, Billboard, 22 Sep. 2023 The bombshell filing, which comes weeks after the pair announced their divorce, alleges Jonas will not turn over the children’s passports and describes how the couple’s relationship became strained over the summer. Elizabeth Robinson, NBC News, 22 Sep. 2023 Is fall still the best time of year to renew a passport? Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, 18 Sep. 2023 Down the line, this record will facilitate a more straightforward reselling process and a safer environment in the second-hand market, as the passport is fully transferable to future owners. Cait Bazemore, Robb Report, 13 Sep. 2023 On the fourth day of search-and-rescue operations, Mustafa’s passport was found in the rubble. Ben Taub, The New Yorker, 14 Sep. 2023 Panerai owners can claim the digital passport for their watch directly at Panerai boutiques or, alternatively, by scanning the warranty card’s QR Code using a mobile device. Cait Bazemore, Robb Report, 13 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'passport.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English (Scots) pasport, from Middle French passeport, from passer to pass + port port, from Latin portus — more at ford

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of passport was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near passport

Cite this Entry

“Passport.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


pass·​port ˈpas-ˌpō(ə)rt How to pronounce passport (audio)
: a government-issued document that serves to identify a citizen and allows him or her to travel to foreign countries
: something that allows a person to reach a desired goal
education can be a passport to a successful future

More from Merriam-Webster on passport

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