[pas-pawrt, -pohrt, pahs-]


an official document issued by the government of a country to one of its citizens and, varying from country to country, authorizing travel to foreign countries and authenticating the bearer's identity, citizenship, right to protection while abroad, and right to reenter his or her native country.
anything that ensures admission or acceptance: A good education can be your passport to success.
any authorization to pass or go somewhere.
a document issued to a ship, especially to a neutral merchant ship in time of war, granting or requesting permission to proceed without molestation in certain waters.
a certificate intended to secure admission.

Origin of passport

1490–1500; earlier passeport < Middle French, equivalent to passe- (stem of passer to pass) + port port1
Related formspass·port·less, adjective
Can be confusedpassport visa Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for passport

Contemporary Examples of passport

Historical Examples of passport

  • In England, personal distinction is the only passport to the society of the great.

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

  • And you're my passport, because only Med Ships have members of your tribe aboard!

    Pariah Planet

    Murray Leinster

  • "Then let your passport be for four, my friend," madame begged him.


    Rafael Sabatini

  • "A passport from without would do equally well," he announced.


    Rafael Sabatini

  • This was a passport to the honor and respect of other Christian nations.

    A Short History of Spain

    Mary Platt Parmele

British Dictionary definitions for passport



an official document issued by a government, identifying an individual, granting him permission to travel abroad, and requesting the protection of other governments for him
a licence granted by a state to a foreigner, allowing the passage of his person or goods through the country
another word for sea letter (def. 1)
a quality, asset, etc, that gains a person admission or acceptance

Word Origin for passport

C15: from French passeport, from passer to pass + port 1
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 passport

c.1500, from Middle French passeport "authorization to pass through a port" to enter or leave a country (15c.), from passe, imperative of Old French passer "to pass" (see pass (v.)) + port "port" (see port (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper