Definition of passus in English:



  • A section, division, or canto of a story or poem, especially a medieval one.

    • ‘For Christians, the Passion-from the Latin passus, the word means ‘having suffered ‘or ‘having undergone ‘- is the very heart of their faith.’’
    • ‘Over 50 manuscripts survive, representing progressive revisions known as the ‘Z’, ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’ texts, of which ‘B’, comprising a prologue and twenty passus, is the most frequently read.’
    • ‘However, it must be pointed out that it was not the passus duriusculus as such that took on this symbolic meaning, but rather Schutz's use of that figure.’
    • ‘Then a colleague at the U of C provided the idea of using the medieval passus as a way of building the story toward the novella at its heart.’


Late 16th century: from Latin, literally ‘step, pace’, in medieval Latin ‘passage of a book’.