to move past; go by: Make sure to use your turn signal when you pass another car on the road.
to omit the usual or regular payment of: The company decided to pass its dividend in the third quarter of the year.
to cause or allow to go through or beyond a gate, barrier, etc.: The guard checked the identification papers and then passed the visitor.
to go across or over (a stream, threshold, etc.); cross.
to endure or undergo: They passed the worst night of their lives.
to undergo or complete successfully: to pass an examination.
to cause or permit to complete successfully (an investigation, examination, course of study, etc.): I am passing the whole class this term.
to cause to go or extend farther: to pass a rope through a hole.
to cause to go, move, or march by: to pass troops in review.
to allot to oneself (a portion of time); spend: He decided to pass a year abroad.
to live through, utilize, or fill; occupy oneself during: How to pass the time?
to cause to circulate or spread; disseminate: to pass rumors.
to cause to be accepted or received: to pass a worthless check.
to convey, transfer, or transmit; deliver (often followed by on): Pass this memo on after reading it.
to convey from one person, hand, etc., to another: Please pass the salt.
to pledge: to pass one's word of honor to remain loyal.
to utter, pronounce, or speak: She passed a remark about every passerby.
to cause to go through something, as a process or agency: to pass returning travelers through customs.
to discharge or void from the body, as excrement or a kidney stone.
to sanction or approve, especially by vote: Congress passed the bill.
to obtain the approval or sanction of (a legislative body, committee, etc.), especially by a vote: The bill passed Congress on the second vote.
to express or pronounce, as an opinion: to pass judgment without knowing the facts.
Law. to place legal title or interest in (another) by a conveyance, a will, or other transfer.
(in feats of magic) to perform a pass on.
Tennis. to make a passing shot against (an opponent).
Sports. to transfer (the ball or puck) to a teammate.
Bullfighting. (of a bullfighter) to provoke and guide the charge of (a bull) with the capa or especially the muleta.
to go or move onward; proceed.
to come to or toward, then go beyond: to pass by a shop;to pass through town.
to go away; depart: The dizzy feeling will pass in a minute.
to elapse or slip by; be spent: The day passed very quickly for him.
to come to an end: The crisis soon passed.
to go by or move past: The funeral procession passed slowly.
to go about or circulate; be current.
to serve as a marginally acceptable substitute: The facsimile isn't very good but it will pass.
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.
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.
to be perceived as a particular gender: I'm still at the stage of being excited when I pass as male.
to be transferred or conveyed: The crown passed to the king's nephew.
to be interchanged, as between two persons: Sharp words passed between them.
to undergo transition or conversion: to pass from a solid to a liquid state.
to go or get through a barrier, test, course of study, etc., successfully: Of the twenty who took the exam, only twelve passed.
to go unheeded, unchallenged, or unremarked on: He decided to let the insult pass.
to express or pronounce an opinion, judgment, verdict, etc. (usually followed by on or upon): Will you pass on the authenticity of this drawing?
to be voided, as excrement or a kidney stone.
to obtain the vote of approval or sanction of a legislative body, official committee, or the like: The new tax bill finally passed.
(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.
to vest title or other legal interest in real or personal property in a new owner.
to throw a ball from one person to another, as in a game of catch.
Sports. to make a pass, as in football or ice hockey.
to forgo one's opportunity to bid, play, etc.
to throw in one's hand.
Fencing Obsolete. to thrust or lunge.
an act of passing.
a narrow route across a relatively low notch or depression in a mountain barrier.
a road, channel, or other way providing a means of passage, as through an obstructed region or other barrier.
a navigable channel, as at the mouth or in the delta of a river.
a permission or license to pass, go, come, or enter.
a military document granting the right to cross lines or to enter or leave a military or naval base or building.
written authority given a soldier to leave a station or duty for a specified period of time.
a free ticket or permit: two passes to a concert;a railroad pass.
Sports. the transfer of a ball or puck from one teammate to another.
Baseball. base on balls.
Fencing. a thrust or lunge.
a single movement, effort, maneuver, etc.: He made a pass at the control tower of the enemy airfield.
Informal. a gesture, action, or remark that is intended to be sexually inviting; amorous overture.
Informal. a jab or poke with the arm, especially one that misses its mark.
one passage of a tool over work or one passage of work through a machine.
Cards. the act or statement of not bidding or raising another bid: There have been two passes and now it's your bid.
(in feats of magic)
a passing of the hand over, along, or before anything.
the transference or changing of objects by or as by sleight of hand; a manipulation, as of a juggler.
a particular stage or state of affairs: The economic situation had come to a dreadful pass.
Chiefly British. the act of passing a university or school examination or course without honors or distinction.
South African. reference book (def. 2).
Bullfighting. a pase.
Archaic. a witty remark or thrust.
Mining. an opening for delivering coal or ore to a lower level underground.
pass along / through 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.
to die: He passed away during the night.
to cease; end: All this trouble will pass away.
pass for / as to be accepted as; be considered: material that passed for silk;The candidate could pass as Latino or Anglo, appealing to both constituencies.
to present or offer (something) under false pretenses; dispose of deceptively: to pass off a spurious de Kooning on a gullible buyer.
to cause to be accepted or received under a false identity: He passed himself off as a doctor.
to cease gradually; end: The headache passed off in the late afternoon.
to disregard or ignore.
to continue to completion; occur: The meeting passed off without incident.
pass on, to die: The patient passed on after a long illness.
to disregard; ignore: Just pass over the first part of his letter.
to fail to take notice of, consider, or choose: He was passed over for the promotion.
pass up, to refuse or neglect to take advantage of; reject: The opportunity may not come again, so don't pass it up.
Idioms about pass
bring to pass, to cause to happen; bring about: His wife's death brought to pass a change in his attitude toward religion.
come to pass, to occur; happen: Strange things came to pass.
pass muster. muster (def. 11).
pass out, Informal.
to lose consciousness; faint.
to die; pass away.
to distribute, especially individually by hand: to pass out discount coupons on a street corner.
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.
to be exempted or promoted from: Jerry passed out of freshman composition on the basis of his entering essay.
- pass·less, adjective
- out·pass, verb (used with object)
- sub·pass, noun
Other definitions for Pass (2 of 3)
Joe Joseph Anthony Jacobi Passalaqua, 1929–94, U.S. jazz guitarist.
Other definitions for pass. (3 of 3)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use pass in a sentence
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.The ‘No Child’ Rewrite Threatens Your Kids’ Future | Jonah Edelman | January 3, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
“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.New U.S. Stealth Jet Can’t Fire Its Gun Until 2019 | Dave Majumdar | December 31, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
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.The Real Story Behind the Fight for Marriage Equality | E.J. Graff | December 30, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Let the thought of self pass in, and the beauty of great action is gone, like the bloom from a soiled flower.Pearls of Thought | Maturin M. Ballou
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.The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version | Various
But men, through neglecting the rules of health, pass quickly to old age, and die before reaching that term.The Mediaeval Mind (Volume II of II) | Henry Osborn Taylor
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.The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version | Various
British Dictionary definitions for pass (1 of 2)
to go onwards or move by or past (a person, thing, etc)
to run, extend, or lead through, over, or across (a place): the route passes through the city
to go through or cause to go through (an obstacle or barrier): to pass a needle through cloth
to move or cause to move onwards or over: he passed his hand over her face
(tr) to go beyond or exceed: this victory passes all expectation
to gain or cause to gain an adequate or required mark, grade, or rating in (an examination, course, etc): the examiner passed them all
(often foll by away or by) to elapse or allow to elapse: we passed the time talking
pass the time of day with someone to spend time amicably with someone, esp in chatting, with no particular purpose
(intr) to take place or happen: what passed at the meeting?
to speak or exchange or be spoken or exchanged: angry words passed between them
to spread or cause to spread: we passed the news round the class
to transfer or exchange or be transferred or exchanged: the bomb passed from hand to hand
(intr) to undergo change or transition: to pass from joy to despair
(when tr, often foll by down) to transfer or be transferred by inheritance: the house passed to the younger son
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
(tr) (of a legislative measure) to undergo (a procedural stage) and be agreed: the bill passed the committee stage
(when tr, often foll by on or upon) to pronounce or deliver (judgment, findings, etc): the court passed sentence
to go or allow to go without comment or censure: the intended insult passed unnoticed
(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
physiol to discharge (urine, faeces, etc) from the body
pass water to urinate
(intr) to come to an end or disappear: his anger soon passed
(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
(intr; foll by away, on, or over) a euphemism for die 1 (def. 1)
(tr) mainly US to fail to declare (a dividend)
(intr; usually foll by on or upon) mainly US (of a court, jury, etc) to sit in judgment; adjudicate
sport to hit, kick, or throw (the ball) to another player
bring to pass archaic to cause to happen
come to pass to happen
the act of passing
a route through a range of mountains where the summit is lower or where there is a gap between peaks
(capital as part of a name): the Simplon Pass
a way through any difficult region
a permit, licence, or authorization to do something without restriction: she has a pass to visit the museum on Sundays
a document allowing entry to and exit from a military installation
a document authorizing leave of absence
the passing of a college or university examination to a satisfactory standard but not as high as honours
(as modifier): a pass degree Compare honours (def. 2)
a dive, sweep, or bombing or landing run by an aircraft
a motion of the hand or of a wand as a prelude to or part of a conjuring trick
informal an attempt, in words or action, to invite sexual intimacy (esp in the phrase make a pass at)
a state of affairs or condition, esp a bad or difficult one (esp in the phrase a pretty pass)
sport the transfer of a ball from one player to another
fencing a thrust or lunge with a sword
bridge the act of passing (making no bid)
bullfighting a variant of pase
archaic a witty sally or remark
bridge a call indicating that a player has no bid to make
British Dictionary definitions for pass. (2 of 2)
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with pass
In addition to the idioms beginning with pass
- pass away
- pass by
- pass for
- pass muster
- pass off
- pass on
- pass one's lips
- pass out
- pass over
- pass the buck
- pass the hat
- pass the time
- pass the torch
- pass through one's mind
- pass up
- pass with flying colors
- 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
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.