[pas-wurd, pahs-]
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  1. a secret word or expression used by authorized persons to prove their right to access, information, etc.
  2. a word or other string of characters, sometimes kept secret or confidential, that must be supplied by a user in order to gain full or partial access to a computer, computer system, or electronic device.

Origin of password

First recorded in 1810–20; pass + word

Synonyms for password

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for password


  1. a secret word, phrase, etc, that ensures admission or acceptance by proving identity, membership, etc
  2. an action, quality, etc, that gains admission or acceptance
  3. a sequence of characters used to gain access to a computer system
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 password

"word appointed as a sign to distinguish friend from foe," 1798, from pass (v.) + word (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper