View synonyms for pass



[ pas ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to move past; go by:

    Make sure to use your turn signal when you pass another car on the road.

  2. to let go without notice, action, remark, etc.; leave unconsidered; disregard; overlook:

    Pass chapter two and go on to chapter three.

    Synonyms: ignore

  3. to omit the usual or regular payment of:

    The company decided to pass its dividend in the third quarter of the year.

  4. to cause or allow to go through or beyond a gate, barrier, etc.:

    The guard checked the identification papers and then passed the visitor.

  5. to go across or over (a stream, threshold, etc.); cross.
  6. to endure or undergo:

    They passed the worst night of their lives.

  7. to undergo or complete successfully:

    to pass an examination.

  8. to cause or permit to complete successfully (an investigation, examination, course of study, etc.):

    I am passing the whole class this term.

  9. to go beyond (a point, degree, stage, etc.); transcend; exceed; surpass.

    Synonyms: excel

  10. to cause to go or extend farther:

    to pass a rope through a hole.

  11. to cause to go, move, or march by:

    to pass troops in review.

  12. to allot to oneself (a portion of time); spend:

    He decided to pass a year abroad.

  13. to live through, utilize, or fill; occupy oneself during:

    How to pass the time?

  14. to cause to circulate or spread; disseminate:

    to pass rumors.

  15. to cause to be accepted or received:

    to pass a worthless check.

  16. to convey, transfer, or transmit; deliver (often followed by on ):

    Pass this memo on after reading it.

  17. to convey from one person, hand, etc., to another:

    Please pass the salt.

  18. to pledge:

    to pass one's word of honor to remain loyal.

  19. to utter, pronounce, or speak:

    She passed a remark about every passerby.

  20. to cause to go through something, as a process or agency:

    to pass returning travelers through customs.

  21. to discharge or void from the body, as excrement or a kidney stone.
  22. to sanction or approve, especially by vote:

    Congress passed the bill.

    Synonyms: enact

  23. to obtain the approval or sanction of (a legislative body, committee, etc.), especially by a vote:

    The bill passed Congress on the second vote.

  24. to express or pronounce, as an opinion:

    to pass judgment without knowing the facts.

  25. Law. to place legal title or interest in (another) by a conveyance, a will, or other transfer.
  26. (in feats of magic) to perform a pass on.
  27. Tennis. to make a passing shot against (an opponent).
  28. Sports. to transfer (the ball or puck) to a teammate.
  29. Bullfighting. (of a bullfighter) to provoke and guide the charge of (a bull) with the capa or especially the muleta.

verb (used without object)

  1. to go or move onward; proceed.
  2. to come to or toward, then go beyond:

    to pass by a shop;

    to pass through town.

  3. to go away; depart:

    The dizzy feeling will pass in a minute.

    Synonyms: leave

  4. to elapse or slip by; be spent:

    The day passed very quickly for him.

  5. to come to an end:

    The crisis soon passed.

    Synonyms: disappear, fade, vanish, terminate, cease, expire

  6. to die.
  7. to take place; happen; occur:

    What passed while I was on vacation?

  8. to go by or move past:

    The funeral procession passed slowly.

  9. to go about or circulate; be current.
  10. to serve as a marginally acceptable substitute:

    The facsimile isn't very good but it will pass.

  11. to live or be known as a member of a racial, religious, or ethnic group other than one's own, especially to live and be known as a white person although of Black ancestry:

    James Weldon Johnson's Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man is about the life of a Black man who passes as white.

    1. to be perceived as a gender other than the one assigned at birth, especially as a cisgender member of one's self-identified gender:

      I'm not really comfortable using the women's restroom unless I'm certain I pass.

    2. to be perceived as a particular gender:

      I'm still at the stage of being excited when I pass as male.

  12. to be transferred or conveyed:

    The crown passed to the king's nephew.

  13. to be interchanged, as between two persons:

    Sharp words passed between them.

  14. to undergo transition or conversion:

    to pass from a solid to a liquid state.

  15. to go or get through a barrier, test, course of study, etc., successfully:

    Of the twenty who took the exam, only twelve passed.

  16. to go unheeded, unchallenged, or unremarked on:

    He decided to let the insult pass.

  17. to express or pronounce an opinion, judgment, verdict, etc. (usually followed by on or upon ):

    Will you pass on the authenticity of this drawing?

  18. to be voided, as excrement or a kidney stone.
  19. to obtain the vote of approval or sanction of a legislative body, official committee, or the like:

    The new tax bill finally passed.

  20. Law.
    1. (of a member of an inquest or other deliberative body) to sit (usually followed by on or upon ):

      to pass on a case of manslaughter.

    2. to adjudicate.
    3. to vest title or other legal interest in real or personal property in a new owner.
  21. to throw a ball from one person to another, as in a game of catch.
  22. Sports. to make a pass, as in football or ice hockey.
  23. Cards.
    1. to forgo one's opportunity to bid, play, etc.
    2. to throw in one's hand.
  24. Fencing Obsolete. to thrust or lunge.


  1. an act of passing.
  2. a narrow route across a relatively low notch or depression in a mountain barrier.

    Synonyms: col, saddle

  3. a road, channel, or other way providing a means of passage, as through an obstructed region or other barrier.
  4. a navigable channel, as at the mouth or in the delta of a river.
  5. a permission or license to pass, go, come, or enter.
  6. Military.
    1. a military document granting the right to cross lines or to enter or leave a military or naval base or building.
    2. written authority given a soldier to leave a station or duty for a specified period of time.
  7. a free ticket or permit:

    two passes to a concert;

    a railroad pass.

  8. Sports. the transfer of a ball or puck from one teammate to another.
  9. Fencing. a thrust or lunge.
  10. a single movement, effort, maneuver, etc.:

    He made a pass at the control tower of the enemy airfield.

  11. Informal. a gesture, action, or remark that is intended to be sexually inviting; amorous overture.
  12. Informal. a jab or poke with the arm, especially one that misses its mark.
  13. one passage of a tool over work or one passage of work through a machine.
  14. Cards. the act or statement of not bidding or raising another bid:

    There have been two passes and now it's your bid.

  15. (in feats of magic)
    1. a passing of the hand over, along, or before anything.
    2. the transference or changing of objects by or as by sleight of hand; a manipulation, as of a juggler.
  16. a particular stage or state of affairs:

    The economic situation had come to a dreadful pass.

    Synonyms: condition, situation, juncture

  17. Chiefly British. the act of passing a university or school examination or course without honors or distinction.
  18. South African. reference book ( def 2 ).
  19. Bullfighting. a pase.
  20. Archaic. a witty remark or thrust.
  21. Mining. an opening for delivering coal or ore to a lower level underground.

verb phrase

    1. to disregard; ignore:

      Just pass over the first part of his letter.

    2. to fail to take notice of, consider, or choose:

      He was passed over for the promotion.

    1. to present or offer (something) under false pretenses; dispose of deceptively:

      to pass off a spurious de Kooning on a gullible buyer.

    2. to cause to be accepted or received under a false identity:

      He passed himself off as a doctor.

    3. to cease gradually; end:

      The headache passed off in the late afternoon.

    4. to disregard or ignore.
    5. to continue to completion; occur:

      The meeting passed off without incident.

  1. to be accepted as; be considered:

    material that passed for silk;

    The candidate could pass as Latino or Anglo, appealing to both constituencies.

    1. to die:

      He passed away during the night.

    2. to cease; end:

      All this trouble will pass away.

  2. to die:

    The patient passed on after a long illness.

  3. to add (incurred extra costs or expenses) to the amount charged a client or customer:

    Airlines were passing along the sudden increase in fuel prices.

  4. to refuse or neglect to take advantage of; reject:

    The opportunity may not come again, so don't pass it up.



[ pas ]


  1. Joe Joseph Anthony Jacobi Passalaqua, 1929–94, U.S. jazz guitarist.



abbreviation for

  1. passenger.
  2. passim.
  3. passive.



abbreviation for

  1. passive



/ pɑːs /


  1. to go onwards or move by or past (a person, thing, etc)
  2. to run, extend, or lead through, over, or across (a place)

    the route passes through the city

  3. to go through or cause to go through (an obstacle or barrier)

    to pass a needle through cloth

  4. to move or cause to move onwards or over

    he passed his hand over her face

  5. tr to go beyond or exceed

    this victory passes all expectation

  6. to gain or cause to gain an adequate or required mark, grade, or rating in (an examination, course, etc)

    the examiner passed them all

  7. often foll byaway or by to elapse or allow to elapse

    we passed the time talking

  8. pass the time of day with someone
    to spend time amicably with someone, esp in chatting, with no particular purpose
  9. intr to take place or happen

    what passed at the meeting?

  10. to speak or exchange or be spoken or exchanged

    angry words passed between them

  11. to spread or cause to spread

    we passed the news round the class

  12. to transfer or exchange or be transferred or exchanged

    the bomb passed from hand to hand

  13. intr to undergo change or transition

    to pass from joy to despair

  14. whentr, often foll by down to transfer or be transferred by inheritance

    the house passed to the younger son

  15. to agree to or sanction or to be agreed to or receive the sanction of a legislative body, person of authority, etc

    the assembly passed 10 resolutions

  16. tr (of a legislative measure) to undergo (a procedural stage) and be agreed

    the bill passed the committee stage

  17. whentr, often foll by on or upon to pronounce or deliver (judgment, findings, etc)

    the court passed sentence

  18. to go or allow to go without comment or censure

    the intended insult passed unnoticed

  19. intr to opt not to exercise a right, as by not answering a question or not making a bid or a play in card games
  20. physiol to discharge (urine, faeces, etc) from the body
  21. pass water
    to urinate
  22. intr to come to an end or disappear

    his anger soon passed

  23. intr; usually foll by for or as to be likely to be mistaken for or accepted as (someone or something else)

    you could easily pass for your sister

  24. intr; foll by away, on, or over a euphemism for die 1
  25. tr to fail to declare (a dividend)
  26. intr; usually foll by on or upon (of a court, jury, etc) to sit in judgment; adjudicate
  27. sport to hit, kick, or throw (the ball) to another player
  28. bring to pass archaic.
    to cause to happen
  29. come to pass
    to happen


  1. the act of passing
    1. a route through a range of mountains where the summit is lower or where there is a gap between peaks
    2. ( capital as part of a name )

      the Simplon Pass

  2. a way through any difficult region
  3. a permit, licence, or authorization to do something without restriction

    she has a pass to visit the museum on Sundays

    1. a document allowing entry to and exit from a military installation
    2. a document authorizing leave of absence
    1. the passing of a college or university examination to a satisfactory standard but not as high as honours
    2. ( as modifier ) Compare honours

      a pass degree

  4. a dive, sweep, or bombing or landing run by an aircraft
  5. a motion of the hand or of a wand as a prelude to or part of a conjuring trick
  6. informal.
    an attempt, in words or action, to invite sexual intimacy (esp in the phrase make a pass at )
  7. a state of affairs or condition, esp a bad or difficult one (esp in the phrase a pretty pass )
  8. sport the transfer of a ball from one player to another
  9. fencing a thrust or lunge with a sword
  10. bridge the act of passing (making no bid)
  11. bullfighting a variant of pase
  12. archaic.
    a witty sally or remark


  1. bridge a call indicating that a player has no bid to make

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Other Words From

  • pass·less adjective
  • out·pass verb (used with object)
  • sub·pass noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of pass1

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English verb passen, from Old French passer, from unattested Vulgar Latin passāre, derivative of Latin passus “step, pace”; noun derivative of verb; pace 1;

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Word History and Origins

Origin of pass1

C13: from Old French passer to pass, surpass, from Latin passūs step, pace 1

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. bring to pass, to cause to happen; bring about:

    His wife's death brought to pass a change in his attitude toward religion.

  2. come to pass, to occur; happen:

    Strange things came to pass.

  3. pass out, Informal.
    1. to lose consciousness; faint.
    2. to die; pass away.
    3. to distribute, especially individually by hand:

      to pass out discount coupons on a street corner.

    4. to walk or march out or through; leave or exit by means of:

      The graduates will pass out the center aisle after receiving their diplomas. Pass out this door and turn left.

    5. to be exempted or promoted from:

      Jerry passed out of freshman composition on the basis of his entering essay.

  4. pass muster. muster ( def 11 ).

More idioms and phrases containing pass

  • bring about (to pass)
  • come about (to pass)
  • cross (pass through) one's mind
  • head someone off (at the pass)
  • in passing
  • make (take) a pass at
  • ships that pass in the night

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Synonym Study

See die 1.

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Example Sentences

San Francisco was the first city to pass one in 2006; since then, 14 other cities and three states have followed suit.

Congress is attempting to pass the buck on federal funding for education.

“They just walk around, they ride in their patrol cars, and they just pass by,” he said.

Typically, aircraft will work in pairs where the flight lead will make an initial pass to mark a target with rockets.

He goes into some detail into what it took to persuade voters to pass marriage equality at the ballot box in four states in 2012.

Let the thought of self pass in, and the beauty of great action is gone, like the bloom from a soiled flower.

The riches of the unjust shall be dried up like a river, and shall pass away with a noise like a great thunder in rain.

But men, through neglecting the rules of health, pass quickly to old age, and die before reaching that term.

Madame and myself had just been regretting that we should have to pass the evening in this miserable hole of a town.

He shall pass into strange countries: for he shall try good and evil among men.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.