[ pash-uhn ]
See synonyms for: passionpassions on

  1. any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.

  2. strong amorous feeling or desire; love; affection.

  1. strong sexual desire; lust.

  2. an instance or experience of strong love or sexual desire.

  3. a person toward whom one feels strong love or sexual desire.

  4. a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything: a passion for music.

  5. the object of such a fondness or desire: Accuracy became a passion with him.

  6. an outburst of strong emotion or feeling: He suddenly broke into a passion of bitter words.

  7. violent anger.

  8. the state of being acted upon or affected by something external, especially something alien to one's nature or one's customary behavior (contrasted with action).

  9. (often initial capital letter)Theology.

    • the sufferings of Christ on the cross or His sufferings subsequent to the Last Supper.

    • the narrative of Christ's sufferings as recorded in the Gospels.

  10. Archaic. the sufferings of a martyr.

Origin of passion

First recorded in 1125–75; Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin passiōn-, stem of passiō “Christ's sufferings on the cross,” any of the Biblical accounts of these, special use of Late Latin passiō “suffering, submission,” equivalent to Latin pass(us), past participle of patī “to suffer, submit” + -iō -ion;cf. patient

Other words for passion

Opposites for passion

Other words from passion

  • pas·sion·ful, adjective
  • pas·sion·ful·ly, adverb
  • pas·sion·ful·ness, noun
  • pas·sion·like, adjective

Words Nearby passion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use passion in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for passion (1 of 2)


/ (ˈpæʃən) /

  1. ardent love or affection

  2. intense sexual love

  1. a strong affection or enthusiasm for an object, concept, etc: a passion for poetry

  2. any strongly felt emotion, such as love, hate, envy, etc

  3. a state or outburst of extreme anger: he flew into a passion

  4. the object of an intense desire, ardent affection, or enthusiasm

  5. an outburst expressing intense emotion: he burst into a passion of sobs

  6. philosophy

    • any state of the mind in which it is affected by something external, such as perception, desire, etc, as contrasted with action

    • feelings, desires or emotions, as contrasted with reason

  7. the sufferings and death of a Christian martyr

Origin of passion

C12: via French from Church Latin passiō suffering, from Latin patī to suffer

British Dictionary definitions for Passion (2 of 2)


/ (ˈpæʃən) /

  1. the sufferings of Christ from the Last Supper to his death on the cross

  2. any of the four Gospel accounts of this

  1. a musical setting of this: the St Matthew Passion

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