• (British) IPA: /ˈpɑːsɪŋ/
  1. present participle of pass#English|pass


  1. That passes away; ephemeral. [from 14th c.]
    • 1814, Lord Byron, Lara, I.15:
      And solace sought he none from priest nor leech, / And soon the same in movement and in speech / As heretofore he fill'd the passing hours […]
    • 2010, Marianne Kirby, The Guardian, 21 Sep 2010:
      It might be possible to dismiss #dittowatch as just another passing internet fancy. After all, hashtags are ephemeral.
  2. (now rare, literary) Pre-eminent, excellent, extreme. [from 14th c.]
    • c. 1590–1591, William Shakespeare, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene i]:
      her passing deformity
    • 1835, Washington Irving, The Crayon Miscellany:
      It was by dint of passing strength, / That he moved the massy stone at length.
    • 1847, Robert Holmes, The Case of Ireland Stated:
      That parliament was destined, in one short hour of convulsive strength, in one short hour of passing glory, to humble the pride and alarm the fears of England.
  3. Vague, cursory. [from 18th c.]
    • 2011, Stewart J Lawrence, The Guardian, 14 Jun 2011:
      Ardent pro-lifer Rick Santorum made one passing reference to "authenticity" as a litmus test for a conservative candidate, but if he was obliquely referring to Romney (and he was), you could be excused for missing the dig.
  4. Going past.
    passing cars
Translations Translations Translations Adverb

passing (not comparable)

  1. (now literary or archaic) Surpassingly, greatly. [from 14th c.]
    • 1813, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab, I:
      One, pale as yonder waning moon, / With lips of lurid blue; / The other, rosy as the morn / When throned on ocean's wave, / It blushes o'er the world: / Yet both so passing wonderful!
    • 2010, Simon Hattenstone, The Guardian, 30 Oct 2010:
      ‘I find it passing strange that convicts understand honest folk, but honest folk don't understand convicts.’
Translations Noun


  1. Death, dying; the end of something. [from 14th c.]
  2. The fact of going past; a movement from one place to another or a change from one state to another. [from 14th c.]
    • , The Story of Louie
      And since he did not see Louie by the folding door, Louie knew that in his former passings and repassings he could not have seen her either.
  3. (legal) The act of approving a bill etc. [from 15th c.]
  4. (sports) The act of passing a ball etc. to another player. [from 19th c.]
  5. A form of juggling where several people pass props between each other, usually clubs or rings.
  6. (sociology) The ability of a person to be regarded as a member of an identity group or category different from their own.
Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • French: passe
  • Portuguese: passe
  • Russian: переда́ча
  • Spanish: pase
  • French: passing
  • Russian: жонгли́рование с партнёром

This text is extracted from the Wiktionary and it is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license | Terms and conditions | Privacy policy 0.021
Offline English dictionary