[pas-uh-buhl, pah-suh-]


capable of being passed through, beyond, or over; fit to be traversed, penetrated, crossed, etc., as a road, forest, or stream.
adequate; acceptable: a passable knowledge of French.
capable of being circulated legally or having a valid currency, as a coin.
capable of being or liable to be ratified or enacted: passable legislation.

Nearby words

  1. pass up,
  2. pass with flying colors,
  3. pass-fail,
  4. pass-through,
  5. pass.,
  6. passably,
  7. passacaglia,
  8. passade,
  9. passado,
  10. passage

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for passable

British Dictionary definitions for passable



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper