pass·​er·​by ˌpa-sər-ˈbī How to pronounce passerby (audio)
plural passersby ˌpa-sərz-ˈbī How to pronounce passerby (audio)
: one who passes by
A passerby saw the accident and offered to help.

Example Sentences

A passerby saw the accident and stopped to help. Passersby were asked if they were registered to vote.
Recent Examples on the Web The woman was helped up by a passerby and was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening injuries, officials said. Kate Armanini,, 19 Jan. 2023 The body was discovered by a passerby who noticed a bad smell coming from the box on New Year's Eve morning. Melissa Montoya, Peoplemag, 6 Jan. 2023 The Fairfield man was discovered shot and unresponsive by a passerby at 9:21 p.m. in the 1200 block of Third Avenue North. Carol Robinson |, al, 1 Jan. 2023 Police said Kyair Thomas was left in his car carrier seat in the parking lot at Dayton International Airport on Tuesday afternoon, found by a passerby between two vehicles. Sarah Nelson, The Indianapolis Star, 23 Dec. 2022 Shelva was last seen by a passerby around 1:00 a.m. on May 28, 2006, walking toward her home in the area of Market and River Streets in Jenkins Township. Dateline Nbc, NBC News, 6 Dec. 2022 In 2017, gunfire after school left a passerby wounded as bullets struck the school’s main pedestrian gate, leaving shell casings scattered on the ground. Howard Blumestaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 1 Jan. 2023 The Jewish Student Union was serving rugelach at a school club night, and a passerby took a bite of the dish, before spitting it back out onto the table. Nicole Asbury, Washington Post, 22 Dec. 2022 On her first day exploring Benin, Rachel asked a passerby for directions. Francesca Street, CNN, 17 Oct. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'passerby.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1567, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of passerby was in 1567

Dictionary Entries Near passerby

Cite this Entry

“Passerby.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


pass·​er·​by ˌpas-ər-ˈbī How to pronounce passerby (audio)
plural passersby ˌpas-ərz- How to pronounce passerby (audio)
: one who passes by

More from Merriam-Webster on passerby

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?