Main definitions of pass in English

: pass1pass2

pass1

verb

  • 1Move or cause to move in a specified direction.

    no object, with adverbial of direction ‘he passed through towns and villages’
    ‘a plane was passing lazily overhead’
    with object and adverbial of direction ‘he passed a weary hand across his forehead’
    ‘pass an electric current through it’
    • ‘We reached the marketplace where we did our weekly shopping every Sunday morning, passing between the hospital on the left and the public baths on the right.’
    • ‘She moved along the edge of the cliff and he passed along the rocks to get closer.’
    • ‘Three masked men reached a first floor office on Sunday night after passing through at least one checkpoint as well as corridors and rooms secured by coded keypads.’
    • ‘She turned and walked slowly away, passing under the light of the lamps.’
    • ‘The victim was shot in the stomach at close range with a hand gun but the bullet passed through his body narrowly missing his vital organs.’
    • ‘A police patrol passing along the road at 2 a.m. became suspicious as they were constantly being preceded by a van.’
    • ‘As noted elsewhere in your site, boats cannot pass under low bridges.’
    • ‘As we passed along the road that led in to Hudsons Field, the first runners were already coming out and we broke into applause, cheering them on.’
    • ‘During the eclipse, the moon passed between the sun and the Earth, leaving a bright rim of fire.’
    • ‘The silence was broken by the engine of a park ranger's orange van passing along the footpath.’
    • ‘The airport is predicting it will see 330,000 passengers pass through the terminal by Sunday.’
    • ‘A shiver passed along her body.’
    • ‘He was passing along the road after the shooting and noticed the body before anyone else had come to investigate.’
    • ‘Calmly curious, they cruise right up to us before passing gently overhead, circling back for a series of fly-bys.’
    • ‘Geoff said people will get the best view at about midnight each night when Mars passes directly overhead.’
    • ‘Last year, more than 125,000 paying members of the public passed through its gates.’
    • ‘A car passing along the street came to a halt.’
    • ‘He said that he recalled something being thrown off the yacht as it passed between the pier and the other yacht.’
    • ‘You travel along the coast and have some great views of the scenery, passing through several towns along the way.’
    • ‘We passed by apples trees filled with bright red fruits.’
    go, proceed, move, progress, make one's way, travel, drive, fly
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1no object, with adverbial of direction Change from one state or condition to another.
      ‘homes which have passed from public to private ownership’
      • ‘The tram system passed from private to public hands in February 1909 when York Corporation took it over.’
      • ‘We show that channels pass through a dilated condition with altered selectivity as they are becoming defunct.’
      • ‘Iron has the property of readily passing from one valency condition to the other, as connects iron with the rhythmic breathing process.’
      • ‘As she swam, she could see the shadows on the ocean floor slowly growing longer as day passed into night.’
      • ‘His paintings pass easily from the public to the private sphere.’
      • ‘But if the copyright is not worth even $1 to the owner, then we believe the work should pass into the public domain.’
      • ‘At the least, it suggests how a building passes through stages of public recognition and can be changed quickly by events affecting it.’
      • ‘Before it became a hotel, it passed between various departments including Customs and Excise.’
    2. 1.2North American euphemistic no object Die.
      ‘I was with him the night he passed’
      • ‘His life changed when his father passed away and left a him a small locksmith's workshop.’
      • ‘Nathaniel's father passed away when he was only eleven, and was never around much when he was alive.’
      • ‘He has been caring for his mother, Maria, now 85, since his father passed away.’
      • ‘At the age of six his father passed away leaving his mum, Helen, to bring up four young children.’
      • ‘My father passed away but before he passed he told me to go ahead and make another movie because he could see how depressed I was.’
      • ‘His father passed away when Todd was only 4 and so he didn't have much memory of his dad.’
      • ‘Life was difficult after her father passed away in 1946 and eventually the family farm was sold.’
      • ‘His sister and father passed away while he was in prison.’
      • ‘Sadly, Lily's mother and father have passed away, so she will walk down the aisle on the arm of her brother, Philip.’
      • ‘After my father passed away, my sisters got married, but I told my mother I didn't want to get married so soon.’
      • ‘His father had passed away, and he was having a lot of trouble grieving and dealing with that.’
      • ‘A year after his family set up home again in the Highlands his father passed away suddenly.’
      • ‘His father passed away about 10 years ago; the household is run by his mother.’
      • ‘Sadly, my father, Roy, passed away in August 2001 after a two-year battle with cancer.’
      • ‘I have been in close proximity to many people of various ages and conditions as they have passed from this life.’
      • ‘When his father passed away, he returned to the area to help out his mother and be near his family.’
      • ‘She fell ill and within seven days passed away in her father's arms.’
      • ‘The play opens on the eve of Catherine's twenty-fifth birthday, just days after her father has passed away.’
      • ‘His father-in-law Jimmy passed away this morning after a long illness.’
      • ‘My father, who passed away some twenty-five years ago, was one of the foremost ear, nose and throat specialists.’
      pass away, pass on, lose one's life, depart this life, expire, breathe one's last, draw one's last breath, meet one's end, meet one's death, lay down one's life, be no more, perish, be lost, go the way of the flesh, go the way of all flesh, go to glory, go to one's last resting place, go to meet one's maker, cross the great divide, cross the styx
      View synonyms
  • 2with object Go past or across; leave behind or on one side in proceeding.

    ‘on the way to the station she passed a cinema’
    ‘the two vehicles had no room to pass each other’
    no object ‘we will not let you pass’
    • ‘You'll be more likely to enjoy and understand the weird places you end up if you know how you got there and what you passed along the way.’
    • ‘The sun had been up for an hour or so when I passed the Seattle city limit sign.’
    • ‘Whenever I pass the old drive-in cinema south of the Heavitree Gap, I get a melancholy feeling.’
    • ‘To Clark's surprise, when he passes them, the director's hand reaches out to flag his attention.’
    • ‘All drivers have to do to pass each other safely is to stay on their side of the road.’
    • ‘He passes his brother and moves towards center stage.’
    • ‘We passed the Greenbank station and went down to the railroads shops just a mile or two down the road.’
    • ‘They apologised for blocking the road and let me pass, slowly crunching snow under my tyres.’
    • ‘In October 1999, a train passed a red signal departing Paddington Station in London.’
    • ‘For a while, Heather wandered with no purpose or direction, passing apartment buildings and rows of small shops.’
    • ‘The tour will start on the Victoria Embankment of the Thames, near Blackfriars Station, and pass the Houses of Parliament.’
    • ‘The walk up the stairs took no time at all, Kyle started to move slower as they passed Jenny's room.’
    • ‘After passing a few side roads, Bastian pulled into her driveway and stopped the car.’
    • ‘Just as I was making my move and passing the table I tripped and fell, lunch tray and all.’
    • ‘Upon discovering it was empty the group moved on, passing portraits and tapestries far too grimy to be determinable.’
    • ‘I am still moved every time I pass the old neighbourhood where I lived.’
    • ‘The journey is always brightened up for me by the miniature golf course we pass along the seafront.’
    • ‘I would be only too pleased to have bicycles passing my front door rather than noisy, speeding vehicles.’
    • ‘When the traffic finally started to move, I passed an embankment on the right hand side of the motorway which was covered with grazing sheep.’
    • ‘Before we moved here I passed this junction twice a day for the last 12 years and I never saw an accident.’
    1. 2.1 Go beyond the limits of; surpass or exceed.
      ‘the Portuguese trade passed its peak in the 1760s’
      ‘this item has passed its sell-by date’
      • ‘On the plus side the group has already passed its peak capital investment on the network.’
      • ‘I hear that there is peace that passes understanding… there for the taking.’
      • ‘Changes in the market started way back when the Nasdaq passed its peak last year.’
      • ‘At some point the limit of acceptable risk has been passed.’
      • ‘You shouldn't eat any food product that has passed its 'use by' date.’
    2. 2.2 Hit a winning shot past (an opponent).
      • ‘He chased down every drop shot and passed Nastase with ease.’
      • ‘He began the finals last week in his customary way of drawing Richards, the best volleyer in the world, to the net so that he could win points by passing him.’
      • ‘The 19-year-old Spaniard began blasting returns at her feet when she wasn't passing her altogether.’
      • ‘He saves the first with a fine backhand volley but is passed by his opponent on the next.’
  • 3no object (of time) elapse; go by.

    ‘the day and night passed slowly’
    • ‘The weeks passed slowly, but I never had a moments rest to think about anything.’
    • ‘The evening passes agonisingly slowly.’
    • ‘Time passes slowly when we are bored or in pain; time vanishes when we are having a good time.’
    • ‘I was glad that there was no clock to tell me exactly how slowly the time was passing.’
    • ‘At one restaurant we went to, more than an hour passed between ordering and receiving our main courses.’
    • ‘The minutes passed slowly, for some reason no one spoke, and everyone waited.’
    • ‘A week had passed since the ball, and already Angelie was bored.’
    • ‘Maybe it is just me, but somehow when I was in school, time seemed to pass more slowly.’
    • ‘The rest of the day passed slowly and uneventfully, but later that night the weather seemed to be clearing up.’
    • ‘The night passed peacefully without any trouble.’
    • ‘The next few moments passed in a blur.’
    • ‘Time just passes so quickly, it's unbelievable.’
    • ‘It appears that the group has decided to go public, now that a few weeks have passed.’
    • ‘However, as the days passed everyone went on with their daily lives as if nothing had ever happened.’
    • ‘After the goals the game slowed to a crawl and the minutes passed agonisingly slowly for Aberdeen.’
    • ‘Six months have passed, yet the public has seen little improvement in the bureaucracy.’
    • ‘Minutes passed before the public address system crackled back into life again.’
    • ‘A moment of silence passed and he slowly lowered his arm, as if he had thought better of it.’
    • ‘The rest of the time passed quickly without incident.’
    • ‘The boat starts to feel more like a prison and time passes very slowly.’
    elapse, go by, go past, proceed, progress, advance, wear on, slip by, slip away, roll by, glide by, tick by
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1with object Spend or use up (a period of time)
      ‘this was how they passed the time’
      • ‘We'd been out sightseeing all day, and passed the evening with friends, working our way through one of those long French dinners.’
      • ‘The old man had moved to Mount Akum a decade ago, keeping to himself, occasionally fishing to pass the time away.’
      • ‘We passed the night in a shelter that let in all the rain.’
      • ‘Without television, radio, or books, the bath was one way to pass the cold winter days.’
      • ‘The villagers pass the long winter nights by listening to stories.’
      • ‘When I was awake I passed the time by munching on bags of sweets.’
      • ‘The mistresses lead easy and extravagant lives by local standards, passing the time between trysts by playing mah-jong, eating out and shopping.’
      occupy, spend, fill, use, use up, employ, devote, take up, while away, beguile
      View synonyms
    2. 3.2 Come to an end.
      ‘the danger had passed’
      • ‘When all danger of frost has passed, then they can be planted out in their final location.’
      • ‘Remember that half-hardy and tender plants should not be planted out until all danger of frost has passed.’
      • ‘Once the thrill of its discovery had passed, Peter got onto the business of exploring the place a little better.’
      • ‘Traffic was backed up for miles until the fire died down and the danger of explosion passed.’
      • ‘He announced that he believed the danger had passed.’
      • ‘He knew the greatest danger had passed.’
      • ‘But that sensation passes and then he realizes that his skin is his prison.’
      • ‘The issue has waited until well after electoral danger has passed before emerging.’
      • ‘Some of these conditions are mild and will pass quickly with minimum treatment, others are more serious and need specialised care.’
      • ‘Once the danger has passed, the emergency services would tell people to go outside into the fresh air.’
      • ‘After frost danger has passed, set out seedlings or plants in well-drained soil in full sun.’
      • ‘All of them were still a little panicky, but now that the danger had passed, they were settling down.’
      • ‘Alexander still held her arm cautiously, but he soon let go, sensing that the danger had passed.’
      • ‘When all danger of frost has passed, prune down to the firm, green area of each stem or branch.’
      • ‘The pain from the blow would pass but the pain from the word stayed with him forever.’
      • ‘But geologists said if a tsunami has not been sighted within three hours local authorities could assume the danger had passed.’
      • ‘They holed themselves up until the danger had passed.’
      • ‘The plan was to run into my room and shut the door, until all the possibility of danger had passed.’
      • ‘The vibrant football that ushered in the start of the season has long since passed and is in danger of becoming a distant memory.’
      • ‘They had to gather and at least confirm that the danger had passed first.’
      come to an end, cease to exist, fade, fade away, melt away, blow over, run its course, ebb, die out, evaporate, vanish, peter out, draw to a close, disappear, finish, end, cease, terminate
      View synonyms
    3. 3.3 Happen; be done or said.
      ‘not another word passed between them’
      with complement ‘this fact has passed almost unnoticed’
      • ‘Little conversation and less counsel passed between the two groups of soldiers.’
      • ‘I had no idea what had passed between the two, but the negative vibe was stifling.’
      • ‘The jury did not know anything of what had passed between them.’
      • ‘But try as she might, Kate couldn't find out exactly what had passed between them.’
      • ‘Even now, after all that passed between us, I think what he told us was basically true.’
      • ‘I was still aware of what had passed between us earlier even if he wasn't.’
      • ‘The sparkle in Kit's eyes was back in full force, a reminder of all that had just passed between them.’
      • ‘I was left to just look at him, not sure as to what had just passed between us.’
      • ‘Whatever had passed between them outside was private, and we didn't pry further.’
      • ‘The protests did not pass unnoticed within the government parties.’
      • ‘Something else had passed between them, she felt sure of it.’
      • ‘Anything that passed between you and them about this case is confidential.’
      • ‘Selfishly speaking, I am almost tempted to let this state of affairs pass unremarked.’
      • ‘He seemed to know what had passed between them, but didn't say anything further about it.’
      • ‘This weekend had been the longest the two of them had spent solely in the other's company, and barely a full conversation had passed between them.’
      • ‘And yet, how can any writer allow this centenary to pass unremarked?’
      • ‘Harriet had constantly reassured her that she was cool with whatever passed between them.’
      • ‘I wondered what had passed between them to make them so wary of one another.’
      • ‘Something had passed between him and James, though she wasn't sure as to what it was.’
      • ‘It seems reasonably clear that something passed between them on the subject.’
      happen, occur, take place, come about, transpire
      go unnoticed, go unheeded, stand, go, be accepted, go unremarked, go undisputed, go uncensored
      View synonyms
  • 4with object and usually with adverbial of direction Transfer (something) to someone, especially by handing or bequeathing it to the next person in a series.

    ‘your letter has been passed to Mr Rich for action’
    ‘pass the milk’
    ‘the poem was passed from generation to generation’
    with two objects ‘he passed her a cup’
    • ‘The disease could not be passed between humans and was easy to cure if caught early enough.’
    • ‘The newspaper's findings have now been passed to the Trade and Industry Secretary.’
    • ‘The stories are passed from generation to generation, often in the form of songs.’
    • ‘If you're fed up paying too much for petrol, please pass this message on.’
    • ‘The curd tart recipe has been passed down for many years and is a closely-guarded secret.’
    • ‘We know how tempting it can be to indulge in listening to or passing along a juicy rumor.’
    • ‘Enmities between rival factions - and even families - are passed down the years, and some go back a century or more.’
    • ‘Since manic depression is hereditary, did his parents go through a phase of feeling guilty for passing along the gene?’
    • ‘A trade that has been passed down for generations came very close to extinction in the late Nineties.’
    • ‘Will you please pass the salt, I don't think these French fries were salted.’
    • ‘Tales of mermaids in these parts have been passed down over the years.’
    • ‘The secret arts of the Egyptians were passed orally from one generation to the next.’
    • ‘If you haven't received an invite, let me know, and I'll pass one along.’
    • ‘He filled three cups from a large flask, passing them round and drinking a long draught from his own, before introducing himself as Seth.’
    • ‘I've learned some things about sorting out my home archives that I will pass along to students in my database course.’
    • ‘There is no limit on the value of business assets that may be passed to a child in this way.’
    • ‘Please pass this information on to anyone you know who may be interested.’
    • ‘In addition, wealth is passed from one generation of the wealthy to the next.’
    • ‘He will provide a display of traditional techniques that have been passed down through the years.’
    • ‘Most family businesses suffer as they are passed from generation to generation.’
    hand, let someone have, give, hand over, hand round, reach
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    1. 4.1no object, with adverbial Be transferred from one person or place to another, especially by inheritance.
      ‘if Ann remarried the estate would pass to her new husband’
      • ‘It is well known that cells from the blood of the foetus can pass to the mother during pregnancy.’
      • ‘If he were to die as well, then the throne would have to pass to Emmalie, his horrible little sister.’
      • ‘The family has now decided to end its 130-year link with the house, and a duty of care will pass to the next purchasers.’
      • ‘The problem is that when the second spouse dies their joint assets pass to the next generation minus just one inheritance tax allowance.’
      • ‘If a car is not removed when requested the cost of collection is now likely to pass to the owner/owners involved.’
      • ‘Pigs carry a variety of viruses, and some viruses pass from pig to offspring.’
      • ‘As Mrs Bennet complained, it was cruel for the estate to pass to a Mr Collins ‘whom nobody cared about’.’
      • ‘The French throne did not pass to his son, as he had hoped, but to Louis XVIII, the brother of Louis XVI.’
      • ‘The taco shop would pass to heirs untaxed, just as the vast majority of small businesses do.’
      • ‘My other brothers were well situated and had given their birth-rights up, so it would pass to me.’
      • ‘Joyce stipulated that, in the event of Nora's death, his estate was to pass to their children.’
      • ‘They had no children, but it is understood that the hall will pass to another family member.’
      • ‘All or a portion of the cash you inherited can pass to your daughters without being treated as a gift as long as you sign a disclaimer.’
      • ‘Infections have been known to pass to other athletes via both routes.’
      • ‘This goes against the widely held belief that the disease could not pass to different species of animals.’
      • ‘He presumes that everything would pass to me and that I would have no Inheritance Tax liability.’
      • ‘In the second half of 2005, the EU presidency will pass to the UK.’
      • ‘It was agreed in the event of either death the estate of the deceased would pass to the survivor.’
      • ‘Co-ordination of the forests will pass to the Forestry Commission after this time and the cash will help prepare for the transition.’
      • ‘Both landlord and tenant have legal estates which may pass to others on sale, by way of gift or under the rules of testate or intestate succession.’
      be transferred, be made over, be turned over, be signed over, go, devolve, be left, be bequeathed, be handed down, be handed on, be given, be consigned, be passed on
      View synonyms
    2. 4.2 (in soccer, rugby, and other games) kick, hit, or throw (the ball) to another player of one's own side.
      ‘his intent was to pass the ball forward rather than knock it back’
      • ‘But Todd was disappointed with only a point and felt his side should have passed the ball a lot better.’
      • ‘Both sides were passing the ball well and creating chances.’
      • ‘The jerseys were too similar in colour and this led to a number of mistakes when players passed the ball to an opponent.’
      • ‘I am a great believer in players improving their ability to pass the ball.’
      • ‘The tagged player must then pass the ball to a teammate.’
      • ‘Everybody wants to dunk and showboat, but few can make free throws or pass the ball.’
      • ‘He drew the cover defence to pass to Johnny McGahan who ran half the pitch to score near the posts.’
      • ‘If one watches Brazil play soccer, they play one-touch soccer, passing the ball around to create the openings.’
      • ‘If the back defender stays near the basket, pass the ball to one side or the other.’
      • ‘It was a joy to watch them play: they were smart and they passed the ball brilliantly.’
      • ‘He picked up the ball in the inside-right position and trotted forward, although seemingly looking for a teammate to pass to.’
      • ‘The game starts and the ball is passed from player to player.’
      • ‘We laughed and started passing a soccer ball to one another.’
      • ‘The ball gets passed to a player who can't shoot and has never made a basket, even in practice.’
      • ‘She may opt to pass the ball out to a teammate instead of shooting it.’
      • ‘He might have been better off taking his score but he elected to pass to Michael Lawlor on the edge of the square.’
      • ‘We passed the ball well and responded well to giving a goal away.’
      • ‘Once a player has been tackled, they pass to a team mate.’
      • ‘He can pass the ball well and scores a lot of goals for a midfielder.’
      • ‘Every coach has paired off players and had them pass the ball back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.’
      kick, hit, throw, head, lob, loft
      View synonyms
    3. 4.3 Put (something, especially money) into circulation.
      ‘persons who have passed bad cheques’
      • ‘He received three concurrent sentences of four and a half years for passing bad checks.’
      • ‘A counterfeit 10-dollar bill was found in Scott's wallet leading the prosecutor to charge him with attempting to pass fake currency.’
      • ‘One of my earlier cases was investigating a bad cheque that had been passed at a local merchant.’
      • ‘She was given community service after admitting passing counterfeit currency.’
      • ‘When the FBI grabs him for passing counterfeit money, he cuts a deal.’
    4. 4.4no object (especially of money) circulate; be current.
      ‘racegoers had formed card schools, and cash was passing briskly’
      • ‘Whether the money passes automatically depends on the type of joint accounts you have established.’
      • ‘The rent currently passing under the lease is £10, 660.00 per annum.’
      • ‘The amount of money passing through international currency markets has reached $1.5 trillion a day.’
      • ‘Does it matter that there is real money passing in some and not others?’
      • ‘The significant difference here is that no money passed at the first meeting.’
  • 5with object (of a candidate) be successful in (an examination, test, or course)

    ‘she passed her driving test’
    • ‘Every two years they have to take a refresher course and pass the test.’
    • ‘If pupils can't pass the modern exams, the whole system has failed completely.’
    • ‘Since pupils must pass an examination to proceed to the next standard there is a wide age range in some of the higher grades.’
    • ‘During her personal development course, Jenny passed exams in food hygiene, health and safety and first aid.’
    • ‘All secondary school pupils will have to pass tests in the basics - literacy, maths and information technology.’
    • ‘Also, many states now require students to pass an achievement test in order to graduate or be promoted.’
    • ‘Applicants must pass a written test.’
    • ‘The students of a good teacher pass their course, graduate and settle down with good jobs.’
    • ‘Often, he says, a student will pass a state test in elementary school only to fail by seventh or eighth grade.’
    • ‘A final exam score of 70 percent is required to pass the lesson and move on to the next one.’
    • ‘Schools also have to present evidence of pupils having passed unit assessments throughout the year.’
    • ‘In college, the goal is not only to pass the course but hopefully remember some of it for the rest of your life.’
    • ‘If third-grade students did not pass the test, they would be retained in third grade.’
    • ‘All 160 boys at St Paul's School in Barnes passed all subjects with grades A * to C.’
    • ‘The best way I have found to pass exams is simply to turn up to as many lectures as possible.’
    • ‘Most soldiers go beyond the bare requirements of staying in shape to pass the Army Physical Fitness Test.’
    • ‘The inquest heard he had only recently passed his driving test.’
    • ‘There is an intense pressure on them to be successful - to pass exams and tests.’
    • ‘This year again, the percentage of candidates who passed their final exams rose.’
    • ‘Only a small percentage of the village pupils pass the state examination at the end of sixth grade in order to go on to high school.’
    be successful in, succeed in, gain a pass in, get through, come through, meet the requirements of, pass muster in
    View synonyms
    1. 5.1 Judge the performance or standard of (someone or something) to be satisfactory.
      with object and complement ‘he was passed fit by army doctors’
      • ‘The leg was put in plaster and Garth had to delay his flight home until doctors passed him fit to fly.’
      • ‘He was passed fit to ride by the doctor on Saturday morning.’
      • ‘A few days before the full mission simulation, the medical board had passed us fit for flight.’
      • ‘I have a license with the Nevada State Athletic Commission and they have passed me fit to box.’
      • ‘He could be back in the senior squad if he is passed fit.’
      • ‘In fact, if he is passed fit to play following his ankle ligament injury, he will suffer from a serious lack of match fitness.’
      • ‘He had been put through a very rigorous test before he was passed fit.’
    2. 5.2pass as/forno object Be accepted as or taken for.
      ‘he could pass for a native of Sweden’
      • ‘This is the opposite of passively watching corporate-sponsored TV programs with government press releases passing for news.’
      • ‘There is something seriously amiss among most people passing for politicians.’
      • ‘Eras of gender-distinctive clothing could help women disguise themselves, but passing as a eunuch was even easier - no need to lower your natural voice tone or even pretend to shave.’
      • ‘We have to accept that most of what passes for knowledge cannot be proved beyond all doubt.’
      • ‘Over and over he filmed the scenario of a light-skinned women passing as white, and a dark-skinned man ignoring a women of his own shade to aspire to that wan princess.’
      • ‘I was in year 9 and, despite being capable of growing a passable imitation of a beard, wasn't capable of passing for 18.’
      • ‘I've picked out his gift and struggled over an appropriate note that makes a vain attempt to impart something passing for wisdom.’
      • ‘They watch the corporate owned media and accept the garbage passed as news.’
      • ‘We feel obliged to come up with something that passes as native.’
      • ‘Do they seriously think their nasty, sarcastic comments come close to passing as witty?’
      • ‘He wanted to know what I was doing in Atlanta while a comedy of errors was passing for local politics on the island.’
      • ‘What we have passing for democracy, therefore, is elected dictatorship.’
      • ‘These days it's difficult to tell the difference between the babes and pretty boys passing as presenters and the pop starlets saturating their shows.’
      • ‘On the highway, you can get quite a thrill overtaking all those puny vehicles passing for buses.’
      be mistaken for, be taken for, be regarded as, be accepted as
      View synonyms
    3. 5.3no object Be accepted as adequate; go unremarked.
      ‘she couldn't agree, but let it pass’
      • ‘Alex didn't even question how the DVD player worked and let it pass when I made instant popcorn.’
      • ‘Of course, a lot of those mechanisms are hooked up to the Internet, but let it pass.’
      • ‘However, by that time I was so hooked by the story that I let it pass.’
      • ‘The implication that he holds ownership over me makes me seethe, but I let it pass.’
      • ‘Harry had been ready to let it pass, to accept his confession, and he had refused that.’
      • ‘Katherine caught the expression and was growing angry herself, but she let it pass.’
      • ‘Strange thing to say, I thought, but there was something comforting about it even so, and I let it pass.’
      • ‘John recognized the mocking tone in his voice and knew that he still didn't believe him, but he let it pass.’
      • ‘I could tell he was just trying to cut through the awkward silence that would have filled the air, so I let it pass.’
      • ‘I feel that he does not believe me and although this is hard for me to accept I let it pass.’
      • ‘We exchanged a look at this, but both decided to let it pass.’
      • ‘We could give up in disgust, forget the whole thing and let it pass.’
      • ‘Tina narrowed her blue eyes slightly, but she decided to let it pass.’
      • ‘A boy was bitten by his neighbour's dog but his parents just let it pass because they thought the boy was not seriously injured.’
      • ‘Actually, it was a couple of days back, but let it pass.’
      • ‘I wasn't going to comment on it, but the media spin was just too unbelievable to let it pass.’
      • ‘He should have remarked on this, but let it pass.’
      • ‘Some people are willing to let it pass and the rest of us aren't.’
      • ‘There was a slight tension between them but Callum tried to let it pass.’
      • ‘At first the firemen saw no humor in the escapade but finally let it pass without charging any one for turning in a false alarm.’
  • 6(of a legislative or other official body) approve or put into effect (a proposal or law) by voting on it.

    ‘the bill was passed despite fierce opposition’
    • ‘In 1969 an Act was passed which lowered the age of all voters to 18.’
    • ‘In our system of government, he said, the legislature passes laws and then the executive interprets them.’
    • ‘However, I am disappointed that we could not unanimously pass this legislation today because of Democratic obstruction.’
    • ‘Congress quickly passed a non-binding resolution backing him.’
    • ‘Other European governments are closely watching French developments as they consider passing similar laws.’
    • ‘Have all administrative, legal and legislative avenues to pass a law truly been exhausted?’
    • ‘The new law was passed despite opposition from the Health Ministry and medical community.’
    • ‘It is not a requirement of international law that we pass this legislation.’
    • ‘Laws are passed with retrospective effect, late at night with bipartisan support and virtually no debate.’
    • ‘Parliament is expected to pass legislation approving the Prime Minister's move early this year.’
    • ‘When the New York legislature failed to pass an emancipation law, some slaves ran away.’
    • ‘That has been the strongest, principled position against passing the bill at this stage.’
    • ‘It is clear that the parties are taking positions to pass this bill in its entirety.’
    • ‘The following year he passed the Trade Disputes Act, which declared general strikes to be revolutionary and illegal.’
    • ‘The Constitution was amended to eliminate the king's power to block bills passed by parliament.’
    • ‘I'd like to appeal to the Florida senators to please, please pass this new bill.’
    • ‘Laws are passed by legislatures on the basis of necessity, rather than morality.’
    • ‘If Parliament - the body that passes the laws - does not uphold the law, how can we expect the public to have faith in our courts and our lawmaking institutions?’
    • ‘My union branch committee has unanimously passed a resolution to back all the protests.’
    • ‘The motion was passed by 555 votes in favour and 4 against, 48 abstained.’
    1. 6.1no object (of a proposal) be approved by a legislative or other official body.
      ‘the Bill passed by 164 votes to 107’
      • ‘While the voucher scheme did not pass Congress, the testing proposals passed both the House and the Senate.’
      • ‘The bill still has to pass the House of Lords.’
      • ‘It already has passed the Senate and the Assembly will vote on it in late-August.’
      • ‘That plan passed the Senate but died in the House as lawmakers wrapped up work to adjourn for the year.’
      • ‘It didn't pass committee without a fight.’
      • ‘The bill was removed from the legislature's schedule, together with other bills that failed to pass committee review.’
      • ‘A similar bill to address the digital divide already passed the Senate unanimously.’
      approve, vote for, accept, ratify, adopt, carry, agree to, authorize, sanction, endorse, validate, legalize, put into effect, enact
      View synonyms
  • 7with object Pronounce (a judgement or judicial sentence)

    ‘passing judgement on these crucial issues’
    ‘it is now my duty to pass sentence upon you’
    • ‘The judicial decision must be made before sentence is passed and the decision must be made obvious by the judge.’
    • ‘A judge passing sentence at Preston Crown Court told her she had been convicted on overwhelming evidence.’
    • ‘Although the verdict has been reached and sentence passed, all 13 defendants have the right of appeal.’
    • ‘Pope Clement VIII demanded that Bruno be sentenced as a heretic and the Inquisition passed the death sentence on him.’
    • ‘A jail term had to be passed to deter others.’
    • ‘The Court also declared that only a member of the judiciary could pass a sentence and that this was out of the remit of the Home Secretary.’
    • ‘They applauded as the judge passed a mandatory life sentence.’
    • ‘Accordingly, he proceeded to pass the sentences of 8 years concurrent on each count.’
    • ‘They passed a two-month consecutive term for the assault, with a concurrent 14 days for criminal damage.’
    • ‘The last two of the accused were found guilty today and the judge announced he will pass sentence on all the defendants tomorrow.’
    • ‘Everything went smoothly until the judge was about to pass sentence in accordance with the plea bargain.’
    • ‘When the sentences were passed at York Crown Court in May 2001, he walked free because of the time he had spent in custody on remand.’
    • ‘Each member of this court would, it should be recorded, have passed a longer sentence for that offence.’
    • ‘She passed a nine years term on each of the four offences, all to run concurrently.’
    • ‘Magistrates deliberated for over an hour before passing a four-month custodial sentence on the 32-year-old farmer.’
    • ‘North Yorkshire Police have said national guidelines prevent them from commenting on the case until sentence has been passed.’
    • ‘The magistrates passed sentence after reading pre-sentence reports.’
    • ‘On that day the Crown invited the court to proceed to pass sentence on both defendants, and to postpone the determination of a confiscation order.’
    • ‘She admitted she had grave misgivings about passing such a sentence, but said she was prepared to give the defendant a chance.’
    • ‘In passing sentence the judge said that the appellant had an appalling record.’
    declare, pronounce, utter, express, deliver, issue, set forth
    View synonyms
    1. 7.1 Utter (something, especially criticism)
      ‘she would pass remarks about the Peebles in their own house’
      • ‘Justine said that when in company some people had passed remarks such as: ‘Have you tried to kill yourself?’’
      • ‘They were young guys themselves and they kept passing comments.’
      • ‘He recently passed critical comments about the attitude of cotton farmers.’
      • ‘Everyone thought they had the right to pass comment and judgement on her.’
      • ‘I was brought up not to pass remarks.’
    2. 7.2pass on/uponarchaic no object Adjudicate or give a judgement on.
      ‘a jury could not be trusted to pass upon the question of Endacott's good faith’
      • ‘This decision was passed upon by their Lordships' House.’
      • ‘Why do we not think in terms of your right, prima facie, unless it is a very clear case, to have the matter passed upon by a jury of fellow citizens?’
      • ‘If the hypothesis is that good practice suggests that the jury should pass upon the differentiation, then procedure just has to bend to the resolution of the question.’
      • ‘In the theory of our legal system that is a matter for a jury to pass upon, not for judges, though judges have to do it in the retrospective courts of criminal appeal.’
      • ‘Instead of that, you come here now, some three years and more after the decision, seeking to have this Court pass upon it.’
  • 8with object Discharge (something, especially urine or faeces) from the body.

    ‘she may have difficulty in passing urine’
    • ‘‘He suffers from a bladder problem which means he has to pass urine frequently and urgently,’ he said.’
    • ‘Urinary incontinence is passing urine when you don't mean to because of partial or total loss of control of the bladder.’
    • ‘Chlamydia can cause pain when passing urine, long-term pelvic pain and infertility.’
    • ‘Caffeine and alcohol make you pass more urine or irritate your bladder and give you urgency.’
    • ‘This may lead to lower abdominal discomfort or backache, or may press on the bladder causing symptoms such as needing to pass urine more often than normal.’
    • ‘The patient complained of a three year history of difficulty passing urine, being able to produce only a thin trickle of urine with straining.’
    • ‘The side-effects of radiotherapy include tiredness, a burning sensation on passing urine and early menopause.’
    • ‘She was seen a week ago complaining of being sore ‘down below’ and pain on passing urine for one week.’
    • ‘Fifteen per cent of both men and women got up at night to pass urine.’
    • ‘Any enlargement of the prostate (cancerous or benign) can cause problems with passing urine.’
    • ‘This is simply to help relax the muscles - no urine will actually be passed.’
    • ‘Catheters are thin flexible tubes which are inserted into the bladder to allow urine to be passed.’
    • ‘Some people also complain of tension headaches, stomach cramps and of having to get up repeatedly at night to pass urine.’
    • ‘It affects mainly men over the age of 45 and common symptoms include a need to get up several times in the night to pass urine.’
    • ‘He was released without charge after seven days but his beatings were so bad that he had passed blood in his urine and had blood in his ear canals.’
    • ‘It's important not to pass urine for at least four hours - and sometimes overnight - before a urine sample is taken.’
    • ‘When you pass urine, the muscular wall of your bladder contracts, helping to squeeze urine out through a tube from your bladder called the urethra.’
    • ‘Men may have a discharge, pain on passing urine or painful testicles.’
    • ‘He was still able to pass urine and there was no evidence of infection.’
    • ‘This can cause pressure on the bladder, increasing the sensation of needing to pass urine.’
    discharge, excrete, eliminate, evacuate, expel, emit, void, release, let out
    View synonyms
  • 9no object Forgo one's turn in a game or an offered opportunity to do or have something.

    ‘we pass on pudding and have coffee’
    • ‘We passed on a sweet and ordered a second bottle of fizz instead.’
    • ‘Until some changes are made, I'm going to have to pass.’
    • ‘Company after company passed because they were unsure whether to handle it as music or a book.’
    • ‘Thank you for the offer, but I think I'd better pass.’
    • ‘I had three opportunities to sell, all of which I passed on because I thought something bigger and better was coming.’
    • ‘We invited them over and they said they had to pass.’
    1. 9.1as exclamation Said when one does not know the answer to a question, for example in a quiz.
      ‘to the enigmatic question we answered ‘Pass’’
      • ‘It is easy enough to say ‘Pass’ at once when I know that I don't know and have never known the answer to a question.’
      • ‘A fellow was asked a few questions on 20th Century Irish history, and he kept saying ‘pass’, to every question.’
    2. 9.2with object (of a company) not declare or pay (a dividend)
      ‘the company has already passed its interim dividend’
      • ‘They'll have to pass their dividend.’
      • ‘It passed its halfyear dividend and turnover fell almost 30 per cent.’
      • ‘When the Company passed its dividend in 1867, the value of its shares fell sharply.’
    3. 9.3 Make no bid when it is one's turn during an auction.
      ‘South bids 1NT. North passes’
      • ‘If at least one bid was made, the auction ends when two players have passed.’
      • ‘Each bid must be higher than the previous one, and a player who does not wish to bid can pass.’
      • ‘Some play that if the first three players pass, the dealer is not allowed to pass, but must bid.’
      • ‘Starting with the player to dealer's left, each player has just one chance to bid or pass.’
      • ‘The minimum bid is one, and each player in turn must either bid higher than the highest bid so far or pass.’

noun

  • 1An act or instance of moving past or through something.

    ‘repeated passes with the swipe card’
    ‘an unmarked plane had been making passes over his house’
    • ‘The fresh bull is put through its paces by the banderillos and the matadors, who will make some passes to study its movement and pace.’
    • ‘The helicopters made several low passes over the area and both drew fire, he said.’
    • ‘The trials involve the delivery of stores and up to 90 British paratroopers from a single pass.’
    • ‘If you are going to seed the lawn, you should make six to 10 passes over the area with a machine.’
    • ‘After a number of passes around the Sun the comet becomes largely or completely de-iced and so resembles an asteroid.’
    • ‘The tractor broom with the lowest forward gear performed best and generally removed the surface in a single pass.’
    • ‘In one of the tests, five 5000 lb pallets were offloaded in a single pass.’
    • ‘I was doing well and had even made a pass at 207.94 mph, but then I ran into a little problem.’
    • ‘All three pictures that follow were taken today in a single pass by the satellite.’
    • ‘The laser is set to the appropriate settings and a single pass is made over the entire face, including the eyelids.’
    • ‘The wide swath means fewer passes over the target area.’
    • ‘Before heading for the coast I made a pass over Mt Caburn and had a look down into the quarry at the east side of it.’
    • ‘One of the things that gets me is that the report so far seems to suggest that the pilot took two or three passes over the area before dropping the bomb.’
    • ‘A seaplane operated by protest groups made several passes over the area.’
    • ‘If you have a 26-inch path and get 6 inches of snow, single passes with a snowblower will reveal the ground.’
    • ‘Ben flew his first eight night passes, and we departed the pattern for our side-to-side crew swap.’
    1. 1.1 An act of passing the hands over something, as in conjuring or hypnotism.
      • ‘Before the startled girl could move, the witch made a pass with her hands and muttered a spell and the girl was instantly transformed into a bird.’
      • ‘As he spoke, he made a magician's pass, and a microphone appeared in his hand.’
      • ‘At the end of his prayer he made a pass with his hands, and suddenly his mind was filled with the image of his master, dead in his chambers.’
    2. 1.2 A thrust in fencing.
      • ‘He cut off the attacker's hand with a single pass, but another blade had already found his left side exposed.’
      • ‘He fells them with one sweeping pass of his sword.’
      • ‘Agrippa taught this form of shoulder thrust along with the common use of the pass.’
    3. 1.3 A juggling trick.
      • ‘In this case you juggle 4 for a bit, throw a pass and then juggle 3 for a bit.’
    4. 1.4Computing A single scan through a set of data or a program.
      • ‘In all honesty, I have yet to create a regular expression in my work without a couple of passes to get it exactly right.’
      • ‘The whole thing can now be done with a single pass, using a single repository and that's a big boon.’
      • ‘You can also overwrite the disk with one or more passes of random data, though this additional step is not necessary.’
  • 2A success in an examination, test, or course.

    ‘an A-level pass in Music’
    as modifier ‘a 100 per cent pass rate’
    • ‘She wants to read maths at Cambridge University, for which she requires good passes in two advanced maths Highers.’
    • ‘The headteacher said that 81 per cent of the passes were A and B grades.’
    • ‘Twelve boys achieved the incredible feat of achieving five A-grade passes each.’
    • ‘He held a very careful oral examination after a student had been awarded a pass in a written examination.’
    • ‘The student who relies upon lecture notes is destined to achieve, at best, a borderline pass and risks failing.’
    • ‘At 95 per cent, the overall pass rate was on a par with the national average.’
    • ‘Drivers are expected to fork out £53 of their own money to take the test which has a pass rate of just 35 per cent.’
    • ‘She scored ten passes, including an A grade in art, a B for religious education and Cs for English, science and food technology.’
    • ‘At Manchester High School for Girls the pass rate was 100 per cent.’
    • ‘Last year more than 21% of students attained A grade passes at A level.’
    • ‘Overall, 85 per cent of students walked away with five GCSE passes at grades A * to C.’
    • ‘He is now looking at just four GCSE passes as opposed to the eight high grade passes she believes he is capable of.’
    • ‘Somehow or another I managed to get the right combination of honours and passes to be accepted at college.’
    • ‘Only two per cent of students in Wandsworth schools failed to gain a single pass.’
    • ‘Overall, the percentage of students achieving a pass has increased to 98 per cent.’
    • ‘However, those figures are based on grades A to E, whereas only grades A to C count as passes in Highers.’
    • ‘She obtained a first-class pass in her final examination.’
    • ‘Of key interest to parents is the percentage of students achieving five or more GCSE passes at grade C or above.’
    • ‘She was delighted with the results and the overall pass rate of 97 per cent.’
    • ‘Entrants should have five GCSE passes at grades A-C.’
    1. 2.1British An achievement of a university degree without honours.
      • ‘He went on to Christ's College, Cambridge, took a pass degree, and became a clergyman.’
      • ‘He did very poorly in his degree and had to settle for only a pass degree.’
      • ‘It will also focus attention on why so many more men get a pass degree, almost right across the board.’
      • ‘The University of London revealed she only achieved a pass in her degree.’
      • ‘They include those who come down from University with no other qualification than a pass degree and perhaps a Blue, and no prospects whatsoever.’
  • 3A card, ticket, or permit giving authorization for the holder to enter or have access to a place, form of transport, or event.

    ‘a bus pass’
    ‘you could only get in with a pass’
    • ‘My media pass only permitted access to the Grandstand, where the dress rules were more relaxed.’
    • ‘For a fraction of the costs of a bus pass, students will get unlimited access to transit.’
    • ‘A very distinct advantage to having a press pass is getting in before the general public.’
    • ‘VIP passes were widely counterfeited, and double the expected number of people showed up.’
    • ‘Seating is limited so make sure you get your passes in advance.’
    • ‘A six-day adult lift pass costs £85.’
    • ‘A half fare bus pass is available allowing travel throughout Wiltshire and Swindon.’
    • ‘Staff directly employed by Transport for London receive a free travel pass.’
    • ‘Just this week, the first journalist blogger was granted a daily pass to White House press briefings.’
    • ‘Half of them will soon qualify for their free bus pass.’
    • ‘The sentries at the main gate refused to let him enter because his pass had expired.’
    • ‘Those with travel passes can now travel free on the bus.’
    • ‘Domestic passengers can use the touch-screen kiosks to receive a boarding pass if they have an electronic ticket.’
    • ‘Transit passes are available to visitors attending meetings, conferences, and conventions.’
    • ‘Individual shows are $9, but weekend and festival passes are available.’
    • ‘My wife and I would suffer a great loss if our bus passes were withdrawn.’
    • ‘All personnel on duty in Portsmouth for the duration of the festival will get special passes giving free access.’
    • ‘Entry to the event is free, but strictly through student ID cards or passes.’
    • ‘Upon starting the tour, you receive a boarding pass with a name of a passenger.’
    • ‘I take out my wallet and rifle through my collection of passes and membership cards.’
    permit, warrant, authorization, licence
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1historical (in South Africa) an identity book which black people had to carry between 1952 and 1986, used to limit the movement of black people to urban areas.
      • ‘Bloemfontein was one of the few cities where the number of African women was nearly as high as men, and the Free State authorities demanded that women carry urban residential passes.’
      • ‘She protested against women having to carry passes in the 1950s.’
      • ‘About 10,000 people marched to the local police stations to turn themselves in for not carrying their passes.’
  • 4(in soccer, rugby, and other games) an act of kicking, hitting, or throwing the ball to another player on the same side.

    ‘his cross-field pass to Giggs’
    • ‘He caught five passes in that game, which turned out to be his last with the Giants.’
    • ‘The passing was dreadful, even short passes under no pressure went astray, while the lack of real shape to the team was quite evident.’
    • ‘The home side began to launch long diagonal passes from the full backs looking to reach wide players.’
    • ‘Among his accomplishments was a 19-yard touchdown pass on his first play of the season.’
    • ‘Players make mistakes all the way through the game and give the ball away with bad passes.’
    • ‘The players were subdued, passes went astray, and the game lost any intensity.’
    • ‘The 50 passes he made indicate how heavily he was involved in the game.’
    • ‘Returning from injury, the loose head set the move in motion then reappeared on the wing to take a scoring pass and dive over for a fine score.’
    • ‘He's more flexible and more capable of moving and stretching for passes.’
    • ‘On at least two occasions, he threw passes to receivers who weren't looking for the ball.’
    • ‘Even if a player under pressure makes a good pass, the ball might end up with the offense's fourth or fifth option.’
    • ‘He returned kicks and caught passes and ran the ball - he did everything in that game.’
    • ‘Scouts watch each prospect throw hundreds of passes.’
    • ‘He became reluctant to run the ball when pressured and sometimes threw ill-timed passes.’
    • ‘The game was littered with mistakes, as both sides tried to force the pass, and the ball went to ground.’
    • ‘The Briton clinches the set at his first opportunity with a backhand pass down the line.’
    • ‘The defense has been prone to giving up long passes late in games.’
    • ‘He seemed to touch down in the corner only for the referee to rule it out, appearing to indicate that the final pass had been forward.’
    • ‘He's throwing short and intermediate passes with laserlike accuracy but must improve on the deep ball.’
    • ‘He marshalled the attack, creating numerous openings with his astute forward passes.’
    kick, hit, throw, shot, header
    View synonyms
  • 5informal An amorous or sexual advance made to someone.

    ‘she made a pass at Stephen’
    • ‘I sometimes wonder what I'd have done if he'd made a pass at me.’
    • ‘She confronts the man in the gang who had made a pass at her earlier.’
    • ‘His gay feelings were aroused by a man who made a pass at him in the cinema.’
    • ‘On a recent visit to my friend's house, I was shocked and upset when her new husband made a pass at me.’
    • ‘I was sitting in the living room and whilst my friend was in the kitchen her husband made a pass at me.’
    • ‘Rick had made a pass at her little sister.’
    • ‘He and the woman were having a drink together when she made a pass at him.’
    • ‘He never, in any way, made a pass at me, although he took an enormous interest in me as a person.’
    • ‘When she put him to bed, he made a pass at her.’
    make sexual advances to, make advances to, make sexual overtures to, proposition, make a sexual approach to
    View synonyms
  • 6A state or situation of a specified, usually undesirable, nature.

    ‘if this was what was being taught these days in colleges things had come to a pretty pass’
    • ‘It is unlikely that the situation will ever come to such a pass because good sense is ultimately bound to prevail.’
    • ‘The record industry has reached a strange pass when it makes more economic sense to give away an entire album than to spend the money needed to persuade people to buy it.’
    • ‘But don't you see, my poor darling, that loyalty is a silly virtue in the pass we are in?’
    • ‘This marks a sad pass for a brand name that, while dreaded by many parents, spelled excitement to a generation of kids.’
    • ‘It is a pity though that things have come to a pass where you and others feel this way.’
    reach a bad state, reach a regrettable state, reach a bad state of affairs, reach a regrettable state of affairs, be in a worrying state, be in a sad plight, be in troubled circumstances, be in dire straits
    View synonyms
  • 7An act of refraining from bidding during the auction.

    • ‘The player that opened with a pass may respond by doubling the bid, in which case the usual procedure is followed.’
    • ‘The bidding ends after two consecutive passes.’

Phrases

  • pass the baton

  • pass the buck

    • Shift the responsibility for something to someone else.

      ‘elected political leaders cannot pass the buck for crisis decisions to any alternative source of authority’
      • ‘But have any so breezily dodged responsibility and so glibly passed the buck?’
      • ‘Instead they have been engaged in the old game of passing the buck, and shifting all blame onto the civil service.’
      • ‘This is unfair and shows that a hidden tax is often a devious tax, especially when the Government passes the buck to local councils and then disclaims all responsibility for what is going on.’
      • ‘The government can pass the buck to companies, and workers can abdicate all responsibility.’
      • ‘It seems to me that it is far easier to pass the buck than to take personal responsibility for our own actions.’
      • ‘I don't know if it's been chief and council passing the buck or the co-manager passing the buck.’
      • ‘It seems they keep on passing the buck - no one wants to accept responsibility.’
      • ‘Have you ever noticed, ironically, that the folks who spend so much time talking about ‘responsibility’ are usually the first to try to pass the buck?’
      • ‘It seems as if government departments are playing games with us, passing the buck from one minister to another.’
      • ‘What is especially telling is the depiction of a bureaucracy unable to react, passing the buck and avoiding responsibility.’
  • pass one's eye over

    • Read (a document) cursorily.

      • ‘My best friend is a libel lawyer, so I would get him to pass his eye over it as well.’
      • ‘I have passed my eye over as many passages of the 'Southern Farmer and Market Gardener,' as time and circumstances permitted me to do.’
      • ‘She has agreed to pass her eye over my personal journal and point out the typos.’
      • ‘He passed his eye over the report.’
      • ‘You can't merely pass your eyes over a page, underline a few things, and consider the job done.’
  • pass go

    • Successfully complete the first stage of an undertaking.

      ‘home builders can't actually pass go unless they sell the houses’
      • ‘Cars do not pass go and collect $200.’
      • ‘However, it's becoming increasingly apparent that if I go, I won't get my thesis done, won't be able to pass go, and won't collect my $200.’
      • ‘Where the real housing industry varies enormously from the pretend world of real estate tycoons is that home builders can't actually pass go unless they sell the houses.’
      • ‘Nor have I got a pass go collect £200 option either.’
      • ‘This guy wakes up in the morning, does not pass go, does not collect $200, but drinks a soda and eats a Pop-Tart with no crust.’
      • ‘If a mother runs a fever during labor for any amount of time, the baby goes directly to NICU, does not pass go, does not collect 200 dollars.’
      • ‘And if I happen to tell you I think something's a deal-breaker, that does not mean break the deal, do not pass go.’
      • ‘All of this newest craze will undoubtedly be judged by how many times we "pass go" on the boards.’
      • ‘Yup, I see him leapfrogging Triple-A, passing go, and collecting $200 four million dollars before the year is out.’
      • ‘But unless we apply the knowledge that we have gained, we cannot pass go, as it were.’
  • pass the hat (round)

  • pass one's lips

    • Be eaten, drunk, or spoken.

      ‘not a drop of alcohol had passed her lips’
      • ‘As darkness claims me I speak, barely conscious of the words passing my lips.’
      • ‘Not a drop of alcohol passed our lips last night which was cool after lapsing on Tuesday night following Debbie's tumble.’
      • ‘This one-time party animal has also sworn off the drink, with only the very occasional drop passing his lips in recent months.’
      • ‘A drop of alcohol has not passed my lips tonight.’
      • ‘He started to speak but his words fell apart before they could pass his lips.’
      • ‘If you restrict your calories, ban entire food groups from passing your lips or start and end each day by standing on your head and whistling ‘Flower of Scotland’, you'll probably shift some weight.’
      • ‘The explanation is that I was drunk, though given that I was driving I should add swiftly that not a drop of alcohol had passed my lips.’
      • ‘I have never met a woman who doesn't like chocolate but I've met many men who claim they can go for years without it even passing their lips.’
      • ‘Indeed, in a dozen years spent monitoring his progress first as shadow chancellor and then as head honcho at the Treasury I can't recall the words passing his lips.’
      • ‘It's 7: 00 p.m., and for the first time for more than 16 hours, food and drink is passing their lips.’
  • pass muster

    • Be accepted as adequate or satisfactory.

      ‘this manifesto would not pass muster with the voters’
      • ‘The debate lasted nine hours and, in the end, the plan passed muster by only a single vote - 57 to 56.’
      • ‘Michael's beef olives also passed muster, judging by the satisfied silence from across the table.’
      • ‘Many strongly believe he didn't pass muster at either!’
      • ‘But, to me, that explanation doesn't even come close to passing muster.’
      • ‘Still, despite his reservations, his verdict was that it just about passed muster.’
      • ‘Both reckoned this place comfortably passes muster and represents good value.’
      • ‘The whole combination managed to stay on the right side of blandness, however, and just about passed muster.’
      • ‘A couple of her other relatives did manage a brief visit and the house passed muster nicely.’
      • ‘He knew the treaty would never pass muster with the Senate.’
      • ‘Secondly, in spite of a fair degree of hype, it is highly improbable that there will be any sanctions or counter-measures against those countries that fail to pass muster.’
      be good enough, come up to standard, come up to scratch, measure up, be acceptable, be adequate, be sufficient, fill the bill, fit the bill, do, qualify
      View synonyms
  • pass the parcel

    • A children's game in which a parcel is passed around to the accompaniment of music, the child holding the parcel when the music stops being allowed to unwrap a layer.

      ‘the last party I went to, I ate too much jelly and was sick during pass the parcel’
      • ‘The children are excited about the party and there will be plenty of fun and games, including pass the parcel and a treasure hunt, and we will also be having a visit from Father Christmas.’
      • ‘A game of pass the parcel developed, the loser being the diver holding the balloon when it popped.’
      • ‘‘It was a case of pass the parcel,’ said the civil servant.’
      • ‘So we spent the afternoon in isolation in our bedroom, dreaming of pass the parcel and Punch and Judy and paedophile alcoholic magicians pulling rabbits out of hats.’
      • ‘It is little wonder that we have this sort of chaos within the building industry when that is the sort of game of pass the parcel that this Labour Cabinet plays in its approach to building issues.’
      • ‘About 30 youngsters had been dancing and playing games like pass the parcel and bingo when the gunman walked in.’
      • ‘The result was that possession felt decidedly temporary, leading to a frenetic attempt to score in one phase with every use of the ball, which usually deteriorated into an unsightly version of pass the parcel.’
      • ‘We bring in traditional games like pass the parcel and pin the tail on the donkey - but we relate them to the theme.’
      • ‘Wilde's epigrams slip from character to character like a game of pass the parcel and significant moments flutter helplessly alongside the frivolous, until it all starts to sound the same.’
      • ‘After he has extracted himself from the room full of children, he is relieved to remove his hat and beard; he's feeling rather hot after the children's party games of pass the parcel and musical statues.’
  • pass the time of day

    • Exchange greetings or casual remarks.

      • ‘Another said: ‘You only see people around here when you're out walking the dog, but when you see her she always gives a big smile and passes the time of day.’’
      • ‘The market was well attended, and increasingly one sees people sitting outside under trees, passing the time of day, almost as if we were in the Continent!’
      • ‘A few women stood chatting in the water, only their heads showing above the rippled surface - looking as natural as old ladies passing the time of day at a London bus stop.’
      • ‘They always passed the time of day and she always waved.’
      • ‘It was empty except for the owner who was passing the time of day with some of his acquaintances.’
      • ‘One thinks of the shopkeepers and craftsmen in and around the Agora with whom Socrates passed the time of day.’
      • ‘They could be valued public spaces where people can enjoy the local shops, meet with neighbours and pass the time of day.’
      • ‘Whether he was in his eighties or not, he was still handsome and charming, and obviously still liked to pass the time of day with a strange woman.’
      • ‘But I think now that he was picking up information, sizing people up, while appearing to be passing the time of day.’
      • ‘They passed the time of day, and chatted for a few minutes, as dozens, if not hundreds or more, students then went to their next classes.’
  • pass water

    • Urinate.

      • ‘Some women do get symptoms of high blood sugar, such as increased thirst, increased need to pass water and increased hunger, although these are also common later on in pregnancy anyway.’
      • ‘A special ‘urine police’ squad is to be launched under plans to halt the damage being caused to historic buildings by men passing water on them.’
      • ‘He was having trouble passing water, and seemed to be in some discomfort.’
      • ‘He would cast doubt on the manliness of a player by asserting that he could only carry out the bodily function of passing water while in a sitting position.’
      • ‘If a urinary infection is not treated, it may spread upwards to the kidneys and damage them, so it is important not to ignore any pain or burning sensation on passing water.’
      • ‘Nowadays I need to pass water more often than before, but I'm otherwise well.’
      • ‘The need to pass water is sometimes very urgent, and doing so can be painful.’
      • ‘Most people need to pass water every three to four hours during the day and up to once or twice in the night.’
      • ‘I told you I wanted to pass water three hours ago and you said I should wait till we got here.’
      • ‘We were both passing water in to the same toilet bowl, and he was telling me in faltering English how proud he was to be part of this company.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • pass away

    • Die.

      ‘she passed away in her sleep’
      • ‘The match was preceded by a minutes silence, in memory of former Boleskine player Johnny Kennedy, who passed away this week.’
      • ‘Please say prayers for the soul of Hungarian amateur great Lazlo Papp, who passed away earlier this month.’
      • ‘The best guy out there to ever come into wrestling has passed away.’
      • ‘Born into a family of twelve, Malachy was the last member of his family to pass away.’
      • ‘Additionally, Gerry Thomas, the inventor of the TV dinner, has also passed away at the age of 83.’
      • ‘He was the first member of my family to pass away quite young.’
      • ‘The company is expected to name a chairman at the end of the month to replace Anthony Jacelon who passed away earlier this year.’
      • ‘My mum was poorly, then she passed away.’
      • ‘The book is dedicated to the memory of Maura Burns of Ferrybank who recently passed away.’
      • ‘Sadly, despite putting up a tough fight to beat the cancer, Daniel passed away two weeks ago.’
  • pass someone by

    • Happen without being noticed or fully experienced by someone.

      ‘sometimes I feel that life is passing me by’
      • ‘How horrible it must be to be forced to live in such a place while life is passing them by.’
      • ‘We were blissfully unaware of the days passing us by.’
      • ‘It feels like we are kind of standing still while the world is passing us by.’
      • ‘As ‘progress’ happens, year by year, it passes us by.’
      • ‘In a fret about how life is passing us by, we feel compelled to draw up a list of all our faults and failures.’
      • ‘I realised that life had been passing me by, and felt I should be enjoying it a bit more by giving myself some free time.’
      • ‘On the other hand, there was a nagging feeling that chances were passing us by - chances that were almost within our reach, but not quite.’
      • ‘If you are not accustomed to being up at this hour, it's one of those pleasures in life that is passing you by.’
      • ‘I can remember being 22 and feeling that the world was passing me by and that I was never going to make it.’
      • ‘For the first time I felt like life was passing me by.’
  • pass off

    • (of proceedings) happen or be concluded in a specified, usually satisfactory way.

      ‘the weekend had passed off entirely without incident’
      • ‘She said the event had passed off peacefully with no arrests.’
      • ‘Buskers and street artists performed at every corner and the entire proceedings passed off without a hitch.’
      • ‘It's up to me to make sure everything passes off without a hitch.’
      • ‘‘The night passed off without any major incident, indeed it was very quiet,’ he said.’
      • ‘An event on this scale takes a lot of preparation we're working hard to ensure it all passes off smoothly.’
      • ‘Police have advised many pubs to provide plastic glasses and extra doormen to ensure the big day passes off safely.’
      • ‘Around 20 000 people turned up to this year's festivities and it passed off without any trouble.’
      • ‘We will be policing this event appropriately, to make sure the rally passes off without incident.’
      • ‘Earlier, a march by around 250,000 demonstrators had passed off peacefully but one large group set fire to government buildings.’
      • ‘Despite a huge police presence following months of warnings about the potential for trouble, the event passed off peacefully.’
      take place, go off, happen, occur, be carried though, be completed, be brought to a conclusion, be accomplished
      View synonyms
  • pass something off

    • 1Evade or lightly dismiss an awkward remark.

      ‘he made a light joke and passed it off’
      • ‘He might have passed her words off as the whims of childishness but she was not alone in her condemnations.’
      • ‘Simpson now passes the comment off as ‘a joke’.’
      • ‘When I meet him, he tries to pass it off with a joke.’
      • ‘It seemed as if he meant to pass it off as a casual observation.’
      • ‘He forced a smile, hoping to pass the remark off as a mild joke.’
    • 2Throw the ball to a teammate who is unmarked.

      ‘he scored eight times and passed off forty-one assists’
      • ‘He did a nice fake then passed the ball off to our power forward under the basket.’
      • ‘He raised his hand in the air, signaling the offensive play, and passed it off to Rob, who had run up to the free-throw line.’
      • ‘Paul quickly picked up on Will's style and was able to quickly pass the ball off to his other teammates before Will could steal it.’
      • ‘That meant he would have to shoot from long range or try to drive and pass the ball off.’
      • ‘Instead of taking the ball to the hoop, for a lay-up, the guy passes the ball off and continues the offense.’
  • pass someone/something off as

    • Falsely represent a person or thing as (something else)

      ‘the drink was packaged in champagne bottles and was being passed off as the real stuff’
      • ‘More than a third of women admit to heating up supermarket products and passing them off as their own creations.’
      • ‘A trader has been fined £400 after passing off an ‘inferior’ car alarm as an independently approved model.’
      • ‘It says that staff in some poultry slaughterhouses commonly repackage and re-date raw chicken several times, passing it off as fresh meat.’
      • ‘Each year thousands of shoppers are being conned into buying fake Aberdeen Angus beef passed off as the genuine article by unscrupulous retailers.’
      • ‘Making assumptions and passing them off as truth is a poor reflection on someone's character.’
      • ‘The disturbing issue is that this advertisement was passed off as a legitimate newsworthy article in the sports section.’
      • ‘She passes off her mood swings as tiredness and shock due to the plane crash, but the truth is that Marc is occupying her every waking thought.’
      • ‘She took a great delight in telling everybody she spoke to that it was my birthday and even tried to pass me off as five years younger than I actually was.’
      • ‘They are deliberately stealing someone else's words and passing them off as their own.’
      • ‘Trading standards officers will be carrying out checks on licensed premises to make sure they are not cheating customers by passing off cheap cash-and-carry drinks as leading brands.’
      misrepresent, falsely represent, give a false identity to
      View synonyms
  • pass on

    • Die.

      ‘his wife passed on twelve years ago’
      • ‘Colin took it way too personally and basically found it a way to make my life miserable once my dad passed on.’
      • ‘To be buried in the back garden alongside the numerous family pets who had passed on to a better place, leaving their mortal remains to push up the pelargoniums.’
      • ‘It means that she has not passed on this earth thinking only of herself.’
      • ‘Most do not until they pass on to the next realm, and in the moment o ' death they be more powerful than ever before.’
      • ‘The loan plus the interest is then repaid when you move house or pass on.’
      • ‘Last week there were hopes that Pake would recover from his illness, but since then he has passed on to his eternal reward.’
      • ‘Or maybe from a family member that has ' passed on '?’
      • ‘However, often we don't realise just how much a part these great voices are of our chosen sport until they have passed on.’
      • ‘Mr. George Wickham passed on at seven-thirty this evening.’
      • ‘Not just because the man passed on a long time ago, but because Fermat's Last Theorem (FLT) has actually been proved.’
  • pass out

    • 1Become unconscious.

      ‘he consumed enough alcohol to make him pass out’
      • ‘Fortunately, my nephew has made a complete recovery and remembers everything that happened before he passed out.’
      • ‘After being released on probation, he ended up passing out drunk and was picked up by police.’
      • ‘You're going to pass out unless you can get your breathing under control.’
      • ‘At the Convention Centre, people stumbled toward the helicopters, dehydrated and nearly passing out from exhaustion.’
      • ‘The court heard the woman passed out and was dragged unconscious from the creek.’
      • ‘She doesn't help matters by getting totally drunk every night and passing out, only to wake in the morning with no memory of what she's done.’
      • ‘He had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2003 after passing out at the wheel of his car.’
      • ‘He passed out and woke up later in the recovery room, his wrists tied with gauze to the bed and gagging from the tube in his throat.’
      • ‘At this point, sheer panic set in, as I was about 30 seconds from passing out.’
      • ‘It is rare that anyone can last more than 5 minutes before passing out.’
      faint, collapse, lose consciousness, black out, keel over
      View synonyms
    • 2Complete one's initial training in the armed forces.

      • ‘Martin successfully passed out at the Royal Marines training centre in Devon.’
      • ‘Jonathon passed out of basic training last month and is now looking forward to a full army career.’
      • ‘He passed out of the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst last year.’
      • ‘After graduating with a BA in geography from Salford University, he joined the Royal Marines and passed out in 1996.’
      • ‘He joined the Royal Signals in 1999 after passing out from Sandhurst as the year's top academic graduate, winning him the Queen's Medal.’
      • ‘He was the fittest recruit to pass out of training for the Royal Marines.’
      • ‘After passing out recently, he joined 42 Commando.’
      • ‘He ended up in the Territorial Army, joined the Commandos and passed out at Sandhurst as an officer in the Welsh Regiment.’
      • ‘He passed out in June 2001 following a 40-week intensive training course.’
      • ‘He was a member of the sea cadets in Trowbridge and passed out from an officers' course before sailing out to Singapore on the aircraft carrier, Illustrious.’
  • pass over

    • Die.

      ‘by the time I reached the hospital she had passed over’
  • pass someone over

    • Ignore the claims of someone to promotion or advancement.

      ‘he was passed over for a cabinet job’
      • ‘She was passed over time and again for pay raises and promotions.’
      • ‘You passed me over for promotion.’
      • ‘How many times has she passed you over for a promotion?’
      • ‘When Bruce is passed over for the news anchorman job he covets, he turns his gaze heavenward and curses God for his ill fortune.’
      • ‘The technician, who claimed she had been passed over for promotion and was being paid 30% less than her male colleagues, was awarded $37,000.’
      • ‘You want me to pass you over for promotions and pay you less for doing the same job?’
      • ‘But his severity made him unpopular with the boys and he was passed over for promotion.’
      • ‘He was passed over for the job of Director of the State Medical Services.’
      • ‘Talk to the decision makers and ask why you were passed over and what improvements are necessary for you to be considered for future promotions.’
      • ‘In 1947, he was passed over for the post of professor of English literature at Merton College.’
  • pass something over

    • Avoid mentioning or considering something.

      ‘I shall pass over the matter of the transitional period’
      • ‘One is reminded of Francis Bacon's celebrated phrase: ‘In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior’.’
      • ‘These omissions of authors and the selectivity silently practised with included authors is to be expected, though its ramifications are passed over.’
      • ‘We were good at passing it over because your instinct is to protect an alcoholic, so you let them get away with behaviour that would be unacceptable in anyone else.’
      • ‘More important, the teacher passes over an opportunity for expanding learning when she does not respond to Emily's question about the pumpkin.’
      • ‘Certain highly sensitive subjects might be passed over for legitimate national security reasons.’
      • ‘Too often the truth is passed over in favour of pleasing advertisers and third parties.’
      • ‘Indeed, in Yorkshire records at the time and subsequently, the event is passed over with scant mention.’
      disregard, overlook, ignore, avoid considering, not take into consideration, forget, pay no attention to, let pass, let go, gloss over, take no notice of, pay no heed to, take no account of, close one's eyes to, turn a deaf ear to, turn a blind eye to, omit, skip
      View synonyms
  • pass something up

    • Refrain from taking up an opportunity.

      ‘he passed up a career in pro baseball’
      • ‘Well, sir, I don't know too many men who, given the opportunity to serve on a boat like the Seaview would pass it up!’
      • ‘If you get the chance to see this band live, do not even consider passing it up.’
      • ‘As their campus minister, I had urged them not to pass up an opportunity to reach out to the poor and oppressed.’
      • ‘She would hit upon things that were such a good deal she felt she couldn't justify passing them up.’
      • ‘My grandfather has been going to the races for years, and when he got the opportunity to buy this car, he didn't pass it up.’
      • ‘Two scoring chances had been passed up before Clarke put his side four up again with yet another remarkable point.’
      • ‘She would never be able to forgive herself if she passed up an opportunity like this.’
      • ‘Surely his superiors would not want him to pass up such an opportunity.’
      • ‘Having waited so long for the chance he can't envisage passing it up.’
      • ‘It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I could not pass it up.’
      fail to take advantage of, turn down, reject, refuse, decline, deny oneself, give up, forgo, let go by, let pass, miss, miss out on, ignore, brush aside, dismiss, waive, spurn, neglect, abandon
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Old French passer, based on Latin passus ‘pace’.

Pronunciation

pass

/pɑːs/

Main definitions of pass in English

: pass1pass2

pass2

noun

  • 1A route over or through mountains.

    ‘the pass over the mountain was open again after the snows’
    in place names ‘the Khyber Pass’
    • ‘The mountain passes are high and demanding, the climate gives extremes of weather conditions, the infrastructure is primitive and the hidden wastelands are boundless.’
    • ‘The road twisted and hairpinned and climbed, but as scary mountain passes go, it was pretty tame.’
    • ‘We drove north, broken-down trucks littering the road as we travelled up to the summit of the pass through the mountain.’
    • ‘Thus, there are prayer flags, wheels, mani stones and mantras everywhere - on the terraces of housing blocks and at the most desolate of mountain passes.’
    • ‘The best hope of that will be in July and August, when the snow will melt, as much as it ever does, and the mountain passes are at their most accessible.’
    • ‘So he goes out and zooms around the mountain passes of California for a week, and I wish him a fond farewell, but I don't go on these trips with him.’
    • ‘There were more twists and turns in the BMW International Open over the flatlands of Nord-Eichenried than on the most serpentine of mountain passes.’
    • ‘Beware of what appear to be shortcuts on maps - these often turn out to be unpaved roads or mountain passes.’
    • ‘What it is Off-road running on dirt tracks and mountain passes.’
    • ‘The mountain pass is a difficult road to travel and it appears as though you are not apothecaries or wandering salesmen.’
    • ‘Militants' camps have never been completely wound up and infiltration takes place after the melting of snow at the passes straddling over the mountains.’
    • ‘Rather than retrace our steps, we continued southwards, traversing the mountain down to a pass called Bwlch Tryfan.’
    • ‘Snow levels will be dropping throughout the daytime tomorrow from above the mountain passes down to below the mountain passes.’
    • ‘She has breathtaking pictures of a mountain pass so high, that the clouds may be seen way down below.’
    • ‘Police believe that Mr Johnson was trying to avoid the high mountain Alpine passes in the park, but may have been forced to attempt the route by the prevailing conditions.’
    • ‘The government's weakness and Washington's fear that terrorists might set up camp in the country's mountain passes have kept it there.’
    • ‘By late afternoon they had reached the valley of the mountain pass and the south road.’
    • ‘Soon the winter weather will close in and, in the high reaches of the Hindu Kush and Karakoram ranges, the mountain passes will be closed when the temperature drops below freezing for months on end.’
    • ‘The brothers travelled clandestinely through Iran, and crossed illegally into Turkey over a mountain pass.’
    • ‘During December and January the ground was frozen hard, and even travelling to the site over mountain roads and passes proved hazardous.’
    route, way, road, narrow road, passage, cut, gap, gorge, canyon, ravine, gully, defile, col, couloir
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A passage for fish over or past a weir or dam.
      ‘a programme to build salmon passes at weirs and other obstacles’
      • ‘We are making alterations to the concrete wall beside the fish pass, and installing a wooden baffle to push more water towards the fish pass entrance.’
      • ‘The agency is also looking at installing a fish pass at Farington Weir to help the fish reach spawning ground upstream.’
      • ‘Fish were currently unable to bypass the weir because the fish pass was not operating, he said.’
      • ‘Some passes produced more fish than others, but none left us empty-handed.’
      • ‘Fish struggling to find their way through a fish pass have been given a helping hand by the Environment Agency.’
      • ‘The group received funding for repairs to the stonework and other remedial repairs to the fish passes of the Cooper Salmon Fishery at Ballisodere.’
      • ‘Coffey argues that this was always possible when the existing fish pass at the Weir was properly maintained.’
      • ‘An existing fish pass has fallen into disrepair and is not maintained, resulting in fish finding it hard to get upriver to spawn.’
      • ‘A fish pass was incorporated into the new culvert constructed over the Corroy River to allow passage for fish when river flows are low.’
      • ‘The Environment Agency stressed it was a long-term strategy and it was reviewing all the weirs in the river system to see if fish passes could be put in place.’
      • ‘It said two persons were apprehended while attempting to take fish illegally at the fish pass in November.’
      • ‘They died because a fish pass was built using incorrect water levels.’
      • ‘The company was now being asked to spend £20,000 on a fish pass based largely on anecdote.’
      • ‘To add to this assurance of quality, Graham fillets each fish by hand, which allows him to monitor every single fish that passes through the Smokehouse.’
      • ‘The agency will also create a new fish pass at Callis Bridge.’

Phrases

  • head (or cut) someone/something off at the pass

    • Forestall someone or something.

      ‘he came up with this story at the last minute, just to cut me off at the pass’
      • ‘It could turn out to be his final contribution, but it would be a lasting one and surely enough to cut any boos off at the pass.’
      • ‘So she clenched her teeth and took her chance - headed the bucket holder off at the pass.’
      • ‘If the French are concerned now about their town centres, then we should just look a little bit down the road and cut the future off at the pass.’
      • ‘This has evolved into a more dynamic, systematic approach of seeking out potential risk, heading it off at the pass and putting the systems in place for mitigating that risk.’
      • ‘If you haven't headed it off at the pass with some chemicals, you lie there shaking and shivering like a Maltese poodle in the mouth of a bull terrier.’
      • ‘If we get to grips with them early enough, if we could identify them and head them off at the pass, then I think the problem would be largely resolved.’
      • ‘When he commanded a majority of 167, university tuition fees scraped through by only five votes: in his current situation, 30 or so rebel backbenchers can head him off at the pass whenever principle or prejudice moves them.’
      • ‘I imagine such frivolous technological pursuits will be headed off at the pass, since the vet has staked a prior claim on my wallet.’
      • ‘I see where some of the pubs are looking forward to the day when smoking will be banned in their premises by trying to cut the move off at the pass.’
      • ‘This morning I could feel it coming on again, and took some aspirin to head it off at the pass, as it were.’
      • ‘‘Structures’ were what Williams referred to endlessly when the talk was moving towards results and the Australian was always keen to head any conversation off at the pass before it arrived at that thorny subject.’
      • ‘‘The idea is to deal with emerging issues and cut things off at the pass before they become politicized and polarizing,’ Collord explains.’
      • ‘I tried to beat her to Safehaven, but a stop light kept me from heading her off at the pass.’
      • ‘Movie producers decided to head that threat off at the pass by agreeing to rules of self-censorship which Hays helped form.’
      • ‘Then I agree that if you head them off at the pass, and they persist and are violent, then you fight fire with fire.’
      • ‘You've got to see what happens, but if there are going to be problems, we better head them off at the pass.’
      • ‘It's part of their job to extrapolate from current trends, anticipate future problems, and head them off at the pass.’
      • ‘By the time I made my own diagnosis, it was too late to cut the symptoms off at the pass, but I'm on a course of antibiotic therapy anyway just to prevent myself infecting everyone else in the entire hospital.’
      • ‘Pulling some political strings, he brings Section 9 in to act as security guards to protect his fortune, who set up operations around the compound, planning on heading the thief off at the pass.’
      • ‘We've got to know what's going to happen before it happens so we can cut them off at the pass.’
  • sell the pass

    • Betray a cause.

      ‘he is merciless to other poets whom he considers to have sold the pass’
      • ‘The third of the Derby / Disraeli minority Tory administrations then brought in its own bill for the towns, thus selling the pass of the anti-reformers' position.’
      • ‘Alas, he himself feebly sold the pass when he agreed in his ‘concordat’ with the Constitution Secretary to the abolition of the Lord Chancellor.’
      • ‘These people at the beginning of the 20th century sold the pass on that one, and decided that we were better off without this language, which was the badge, supposedly, of our superiority to the other creatures.’
      • ‘Perhaps Confucius and Mencius had already sold the pass.’
      • ‘A substantial number of the party's ruling council could never accept that the hardliner they voted for to stonewall seemed to have sold the pass.’
      • ‘There was some minor resistance from a few tiers down the management structure in some companies, but the upshot was that the OEMs bravely sold the pass.’
      • ‘Following their decision he said: ‘By their refusal to make the retention of the Lucozade Sign a condition of the development package, Hounslow have sold the pass.’’
      • ‘And responsibility for that external breakdown lies squarely with the paramilitary thugs and their political appeasers, who have simply sold the pass.’
      • ‘He arrived knowing that the French government had already sold the pass at the Congress of Berlin.’
      • ‘Query whether you do not sell the pass once you concede that there might be just a little tiny bit of punishment in there.’
      • ‘The great marquess never sold the pass on such an issue of principle, the great adventurer couldn't resist dishing the Whigs by out-democratising them.’
      • ‘If those in government allow themselves to be intimidated into neutrality because they harbour private peccadilloes, they will sell the pass to the prophets of moral nihilism.’
      • ‘On that point Isaacs' wife might have unwittingly sold the pass.’
      • ‘At the same time, he believed that ‘the quint-essential Diehard… never entirely trusts his leaders not to sell the pass behind his back.’’

Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘division of a text, passage through’): variant of pace, influenced by pass and French pas.

Pronunciation

pass

/pɑːs/