• synonyms


[pas-uh-buhl, pah-suh-]
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  1. capable of being passed through, beyond, or over; fit to be traversed, penetrated, crossed, etc., as a road, forest, or stream.
  2. adequate; acceptable: a passable knowledge of French.
  3. capable of being circulated legally or having a valid currency, as a coin.
  4. capable of being or liable to be ratified or enacted: passable legislation.
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Origin of passable

1375–1425; late Middle English < Middle French; see pass, -able
Related formspass·a·ble·ness, nounun·pass·a·ble, adjective
Can be confusedpassable passible

Synonyms for passable

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of passable

British Dictionary definitions for passable


  1. adequate, fair, or acceptablea passable speech
  2. (of an obstacle) capable of being passed or crossed
  3. (of currency) valid for general circulation
  4. (of a proposed law) able to be ratified or enacted
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Derived Formspassableness, noun
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 passable


early 15c., "that may be crossed," from pass (v.) + -able, or from Old French passable "fordable, affording passage" (14c.). Sense of "tolerable" is first attested late 15c. Related: Passably.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper