Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[pas-uh n-jer] /ˈpæs ən dʒər/
a person who is traveling in an automobile, bus, train, airplane, or other conveyance, especially one who is not the driver, pilot, or the like.
a wayfarer; traveler.
Origin of passenger
1300-50; Middle English passager < Middle French, noun use of passag(i)er (adj.) passing, temporary; see passage1, -ier2; for -n- cf. messenger, harbinger, scavenger, popinjay
Related forms
nonpassenger, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for passenger
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Half fearfully I look at my passenger, but he is a black man.

    Ballads of a Bohemian Robert W. Service
  • I was put on board as a passenger, and we sailed about a week after the ship got in from London.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • We had a passenger, who passed for some revolutionary man, who also landed secretly.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • She was the only passenger in the diligence, and the door was locked.

  • As he walked up the deck, he saw there was one passenger who had been earlier than himself.

    A Woman Intervenes Robert Barr
British Dictionary definitions for passenger


  1. a person travelling in a car, train, boat, etc, not driven by him
  2. (as modifier): a passenger seat
(mainly Brit) a member of a group or team who is a burden on the others through not participating fully in the work
Word Origin
C14: from Old French passager passing, from passage1
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for passenger

early 14c., passager "passer-by," from Old French passagier "traveler, passer-by" (Modern French passager), noun use of passagier (adj.) "passing, fleeting, traveling," from passage (see passage).

And in this I resemble the Lappwing, who fearing hir young ones to be destroyed by passengers, flyeth with a false cry farre from their nestes, making those that looke for them seeke where they are not .... [John Lyly, "Euphues and His England," 1580]
The -n- was added early 15c. (cf. messenger, harbinger, scavenger, porringer). Meaning "one traveling in a vehicle or vessel" first attested 1510s. Passenger-pigeon of North America so called from 1802; extinct since 1914.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for passenger

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for passenger

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for passenger