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  1. a portion or section of a written work; a paragraph, verse, etc.: a passage of Scripture.
  2. a phrase or other division of a musical work.
  3. Fine Arts. an area, section, or detail of a work, especially with respect to its qualities of execution: passages of sensitive brushwork.
  4. an act or instance of passing from one place, condition, etc., to another; transit.
  5. the permission, right, or freedom to pass: to refuse passage through a territory.
  6. the route or course by which a person or thing passes or travels.
  7. a hall or corridor; passageway.
  8. an opening or entrance into, through, or out of something: the nasal passages.
  9. a voyage by water from one point to another: a rough passage across the English Channel.
  10. the privilege of conveyance as a passenger: to book passage on an ocean liner.
  11. the price charged for accommodation on a ship; fare.
  12. a lapse or passing, as of time.
  13. a progress or course, as of events.
  14. the enactment into law of a legislative measure.
  15. an interchange of communications, confidences, etc., between persons.
  16. an exchange of blows; altercation or dispute: a passage at arms.
  17. the act of causing something to pass; transference; transmission.
  18. an evacuation of the bowels.
  19. an occurrence, incident, or event.
verb (used without object), pas·saged, pas·sag·ing.
  1. to make a passage; cross; pass; voyage.

Origin of passage1

1250–1300; Middle English < Old French, equivalent to pass(er) to pass + -age -age


[pas-ij, puh-sahzh]Manège.
  1. a slow, cadenced trot executed with great elevation of the feet and characterized by a moment of suspension before the feet strike the ground.
verb (used without object), pas·saged, pas·sag·ing.
  1. (of a horse) to execute such a movement.
  2. (of a rider) to cause a horse to execute such a movement.
verb (used with object), pas·saged, pas·sag·ing.
  1. to cause (a horse) to passage.

Origin of passage2

1790–1800; < French passager (v.), variant of passéger < Italian passeggiare to walk; see pace1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for passage


  1. a channel, opening, etc, through or by which a person or thing may pass
  2. music a section or division of a piece, movement, etc
  3. a way, as in a hall or lobby
  4. a section of a written work, speech, etc, esp one of moderate length
  5. a journey, esp by shipthe outward passage took a week
  6. the act or process of passing from one place, condition, etc, to anotherpassage of a gas through a liquid
  7. the permission, right, or freedom to passto be denied passage through a country
  8. the enactment of a law or resolution by a legislative or deliberative body
  9. an evacuation of the bowels
  10. rare an exchange or interchange, as of blows, words, etc (esp in the phrase passage of arms)

Word Origin

C13: from Old French from passer to pass


  1. a sideways walk in which diagonal pairs of feet are lifted alternately
  2. a cadenced lofty trot, the moment of suspension being clearly defined
  1. to move or cause to move at a passage

Word Origin

C18: from French passager, variant of passéger, from Italian passeggiare to take steps, ultimately from Latin passūs step, pace 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for passage


early 13c., "a road, passage;" late 13c., "action of passing," from Old French passage "mountain pass, passage" (11c.), from passer "to go by" (see pass (v.)). Meaning "corridor in a building" first recorded 1610s. Meaning "a portion of writing" is from 1610s, of music, from 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

passage in Medicine


  1. A movement from one place to another.
  2. The process of passing from one condition or stage to another.
  3. A path, channel, or duct through, over, or along which something may pass.
  4. An act of emptying, as of the bowels.
  5. The process of passing or maintaining a group of microorganisms or cells through a series of hosts or cultures.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.