Definition of passing in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpasiNG/


1Going past: passing cars
More example sentences
  • Luckily a passing police car stopped and helped.
  • Demonstrators burned tyres and hurled stones at passing police cars.
  • A passing police car was flagged down by witnesses and although the car was chased along Northway Lane it managed to escape.
2(Of a period of time) going by: she detested him more with every passing second
More example sentences
  • Each passing year leaves us with fewer veterans of the First World War to describe eye-witness accounts of the horror, bravery and comradeship at the front.
  • ‘It's been over a week and every passing day is now critical,’ Bellamy said.
  • My drinks shelf used to live; the ebb and flow in the bottles pulsating with the passing days.
2.1Carried out quickly and lightly: a passing glance
More example sentences
  • You probably see passing references to the casualties, like daily box scores-just as brief and much more brutal.
  • I was aghast and horrified at the extent of human stupidity, and chalked it up to a quickly passing fad that would be soon go the way of foot binding.
  • It is only a brief passing reference but it contains a little of the evidence which was given in the Family Court on the interlocutory proceedings.
3US Meeting or surpassing the requirements of a course or examination: a passing grade
More example sentences
  • And one of the reasons we gave it today is that at least two of the Fs can be made into passing grades in the course of the next two weeks.
  • Often curriculum for these courses is tougher than the preparation required for passing entrance examinations.
  • The team must attend regular training meetings, get passing grades in school and be alcohol and drug-free.


[in singular]
1The passage of something, especially time: with the passing of the years she had become a little eccentric
More example sentences
  • Actually, when you're dead you don't seem to notice the passing of time quite so much; it begins to seem very, very trivial.
  • I never noticed the passing of time, until the light coming in the window disappeared, and my stomach started growling.
  • The passing of time has enshrined Keegan's infamous combustion on live TV as the pivotal moment in the 1995-1996 title race.
passage, course, progress, advance
1.1The action of throwing, kicking, or hitting a ball or puck to another team member during a sports match: his play showed good passing and good control [as modifier]: a good passing movement
More example sentences
  • Instant ball control and accurate passing in tight spaces, rather than any brute force, are the compulsory requirements for a futsal player.
  • This motivated team produced excellent early passing and control for a short corner mid-way into the half.
  • They were strong on the ball, and their passing and movement was top notch.
2Used euphemistically to refer to a person’s death: her passing will be felt deeply by many people
More example sentences
  • Of those overcome by death and passing to another world, a father cannot hold back his son, nor relatives a relation.
  • In her mid-sixties and a frequent visitor to her old home in Parks, her sudden passing is a great loss to her loving family.
  • But that did not prevent rumours that it was due to her unhappiness about the marriage and speculation that her sudden passing had placed a curse on the union.
death, demise, passing away/on, end, loss, quietus
formal decease
2.1The end of something: the passing of the Cold War and the rise of a new Europe
More example sentences
  • The passing of the Cold War was therefore likely to unveil a new age of power politics, untrammelled by the checks and balances of the Cold War.
  • All of which becomes rather puzzling when considering that the spying profession was rendered entirely obsolete with the passing of the Cold War.
  • One major factor has been India's economic reform process, which began with the passing of the Cold War.


in passing

Briefly and casually: the research was mentioned only in passing
More example sentences
  • Sister Briodie mentioned, almost in passing, that I will need front-opening pyjamas.
  • I mentioned that in passing at the time and it elicited a stream of foul-mouthed, intemperate abuse from him.
  • It was mentioned in passing that computers used binary, and programmers would often use octal.
incidentally, by the by/way, en passant



Example sentences
  • This week an Israeli security delegation paid a secretive visit to India which was passingly reported in both Indian and Israeli media unlike earlier occasions when such visits were accorded full glare of media attention.
  • Actually, I'm passingly familiar with some descendants of East India merchants, and such a description wouldn't be too far off the mark.
  • I don't think this adversely affected my ability to judge, given that I ended up comfortably in the middle of a majority decision, but it was something I was more than passingly aware of nonetheless.

Words that rhyme with passing


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pass·ing

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