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’
    with object and adverbial of direction ‘he passed a weary hand across his forehead’
    ‘pass an electric current through it’
    ‘the shells from the Allied guns were passing very low overhead’
    • ‘The airport is predicting it will see 330,000 passengers pass through the terminal by Sunday.’
    • ‘He said that he recalled something being thrown off the yacht as it passed between the pier and the other yacht.’
    • ‘The silence was broken by the engine of a park ranger's orange van passing along the footpath.’
    • ‘As noted elsewhere in your site, boats cannot pass under low bridges.’
    • ‘A car passing along the street came to a halt.’
    • ‘Geoff said people will get the best view at about midnight each night when Mars passes directly overhead.’
    • ‘She turned and walked slowly away, passing under the light of the lamps.’
    • ‘Last year, more than 125,000 paying members of the public passed through its gates.’
    • ‘You travel along the coast and have some great views of the scenery, passing through several towns along the way.’
    • ‘During the eclipse, the moon passed between the sun and the Earth, leaving a bright rim of fire.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We passed by apples trees filled with bright red fruits.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Calmly curious, they cruise right up to us before passing gently overhead, circling back for a series of fly-bys.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A shiver passed along her body.’
    • ‘A police patrol passing along the road at 2 a.m. became suspicious as they were constantly being preceded by a van.’
    • ‘He was passing along the road after the shooting and noticed the body before anyone else had come to investigate.’
    go, proceed, move, progress, make one's way, travel, drive, fly
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Change from one state or condition to another.
      ‘homes that have passed from public to private ownership’
      • ‘His paintings pass easily from the public to the private sphere.’
      • ‘As she swam, she could see the shadows on the ocean floor slowly growing longer as day passed into night.’
      • ‘We show that channels pass through a dilated condition with altered selectivity as they are becoming defunct.’
      • ‘But if the copyright is not worth even $1 to the owner, then we believe the work should pass into the public domain.’
      • ‘Iron has the property of readily passing from one valency condition to the other, as connects iron with the rhythmic breathing process.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The tram system passed from private to public hands in February 1909 when York Corporation took it over.’
    2. 1.2North American euphemistic Die (used euphemistically)
      ‘his father had passed to the afterlife’
      • ‘When his father passed away, he returned to the area to help out his mother and be near his family.’
      • ‘His life changed when his father passed away and left a him a small locksmith's workshop.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Sadly, my father, Roy, passed away in August 2001 after a two-year battle with cancer.’
      • ‘His father had passed away, and he was having a lot of trouble grieving and dealing with that.’
      • ‘Sadly, Lily's mother and father have passed away, so she will walk down the aisle on the arm of her brother, Philip.’
      • ‘Nathaniel's father passed away when he was only eleven, and was never around much when he was alive.’
      • ‘After my father passed away, my sisters got married, but I told my mother I didn't want to get married so soon.’
      • ‘A year after his family set up home again in the Highlands his father passed away suddenly.’
      • ‘His father-in-law Jimmy passed away this morning after a long illness.’
      • ‘His father passed away about 10 years ago; the household is run by his mother.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She fell ill and within seven days passed away in her father's arms.’
      • ‘His sister and father passed away while he was in prison.’
      • ‘At the age of six his father passed away leaving his mum, Helen, to bring up four young children.’
      • ‘I have been in close proximity to many people of various ages and conditions as they have passed from this life.’
      • ‘The play opens on the eve of Catherine's twenty-fifth birthday, just days after her father has passed away.’
      • ‘He has been caring for his mother, Maria, now 85, since his father passed away.’
      • ‘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.

    ‘the two vehicles had no room to pass each other’
    no object ‘we will not let you pass’
    ‘she passed a rest area with a pay phone’
    • ‘Whenever I pass the old drive-in cinema south of the Heavitree Gap, I get a melancholy feeling.’
    • ‘He passes his brother and moves towards center stage.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I am still moved every time I pass the old neighbourhood where I lived.’
    • ‘All drivers have to do to pass each other safely is to stay on their side of the road.’
    • ‘After passing a few side roads, Bastian pulled into her driveway and stopped the car.’
    • ‘Upon discovering it was empty the group moved on, passing portraits and tapestries far too grimy to be determinable.’
    • ‘The sun had been up for an hour or so when I passed the Seattle city limit sign.’
    • ‘For a while, Heather wandered with no purpose or direction, passing apartment buildings and rows of small shops.’
    • ‘To Clark's surprise, when he passes them, the director's hand reaches out to flag his attention.’
    • ‘Just as I was making my move and passing the table I tripped and fell, lunch tray and all.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We passed the Greenbank station and went down to the railroads shops just a mile or two down the road.’
    • ‘The journey is always brightened up for me by the miniature golf course we pass along the seafront.’
    • ‘The walk up the stairs took no time at all, Kyle started to move slower as they passed Jenny's room.’
    • ‘Before we moved here I passed this junction twice a day for the last 12 years and I never saw an accident.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The tour will start on the Victoria Embankment of the Thames, near Blackfriars Station, and pass the Houses of Parliament.’
    1. 2.1 Go beyond the limits of; surpass or exceed.
      ‘this item has passed its sell-by date’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I hear that there is peace that passes understanding… there for the taking.’
      • ‘You shouldn't eat any food product that has passed its 'use by' date.’
      • ‘On the plus side the group has already passed its peak capital investment on the network.’
    2. 2.2Tennis Hit a winning shot past (an opponent)
      • ‘He chased down every drop shot and passed Nastase with ease.’
      • ‘He saves the first with a fine backhand volley but is passed by his opponent on the next.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 3no object (of time or a point in time) elapse; go by.

    ‘the day and night passed slowly’
    ‘the moment had passed’
    • ‘A week had passed since the ball, and already Angelie was bored.’
    • ‘A moment of silence passed and he slowly lowered his arm, as if he had thought better of it.’
    • ‘The rest of the day passed slowly and uneventfully, but later that night the weather seemed to be clearing up.’
    • ‘The evening passes agonisingly slowly.’
    • ‘Time just passes so quickly, it's unbelievable.’
    • ‘The next few moments passed in a blur.’
    • ‘At one restaurant we went to, more than an hour passed between ordering and receiving our main courses.’
    • ‘Maybe it is just me, but somehow when I was in school, time seemed to pass more slowly.’
    • ‘Minutes passed before the public address system crackled back into life again.’
    • ‘However, as the days passed everyone went on with their daily lives as if nothing had ever happened.’
    • ‘The boat starts to feel more like a prison and time passes very slowly.’
    • ‘The minutes passed slowly, for some reason no one spoke, and everyone waited.’
    • ‘Time passes slowly when we are bored or in pain; time vanishes when we are having a good time.’
    • ‘After the goals the game slowed to a crawl and the minutes passed agonisingly slowly for Aberdeen.’
    • ‘The weeks passed slowly, but I never had a moments rest to think about anything.’
    • ‘The rest of the time passed quickly without incident.’
    • ‘I was glad that there was no clock to tell me exactly how slowly the time was passing.’
    • ‘The night passed peacefully without any trouble.’
    • ‘Six months have passed, yet the public has seen little improvement in the bureaucracy.’
    • ‘It appears that the group has decided to go public, now that a few weeks have passed.’
    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’
      • ‘Without television, radio, or books, the bath was one way to pass the cold winter days.’
      • ‘When I was awake I passed the time by munching on bags of sweets.’
      • ‘We'd been out sightseeing all day, and passed the evening with friends, working our way through one of those long French dinners.’
      • ‘The villagers pass the long winter nights by listening to stories.’
      • ‘The mistresses lead easy and extravagant lives by local standards, passing the time between trysts by playing mah-jong, eating out and shopping.’
      • ‘We passed the night in a shelter that let in all the rain.’
      • ‘The old man had moved to Mount Akum a decade ago, keeping to himself, occasionally fishing to pass the time away.’
      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’
      • ‘Traffic was backed up for miles until the fire died down and the danger of explosion passed.’
      • ‘The plan was to run into my room and shut the door, until all the possibility of danger had passed.’
      • ‘Once the thrill of its discovery had passed, Peter got onto the business of exploring the place a little better.’
      • ‘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 holed themselves up until the danger had passed.’
      • ‘But geologists said if a tsunami has not been sighted within three hours local authorities could assume the danger had passed.’
      • ‘Once the danger has passed, the emergency services would tell people to go outside into the fresh air.’
      • ‘Some of these conditions are mild and will pass quickly with minimum treatment, others are more serious and need specialised care.’
      • ‘They had to gather and at least confirm that the danger had passed first.’
      • ‘When all danger of frost has passed, prune down to the firm, green area of each stem or branch.’
      • ‘Remember that half-hardy and tender plants should not be planted out until all danger of frost has passed.’
      • ‘The pain from the blow would pass but the pain from the word stayed with him forever.’
      • ‘He announced that he believed the danger had passed.’
      • ‘Alexander still held her arm cautiously, but he soon let go, sensing that 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.’
      • ‘When all danger of frost has passed, then they can be planted out in their final location.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The issue has waited until well after electoral danger has passed before emerging.’
      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’
      • ‘Even now, after all that passed between us, I think what he told us was basically true.’
      • ‘The sparkle in Kit's eyes was back in full force, a reminder of all that had just passed between them.’
      • ‘Selfishly speaking, I am almost tempted to let this state of affairs pass unremarked.’
      • ‘The jury did not know anything of what had passed between them.’
      • ‘And yet, how can any writer allow this centenary to pass unremarked?’
      • ‘Something else had passed between them, she felt sure of it.’
      • ‘But try as she might, Kate couldn't find out exactly what had passed between them.’
      • ‘I wondered what had passed between them to make them so wary of one another.’
      • ‘Whatever had passed between them outside was private, and we didn't pry further.’
      • ‘Something had passed between him and James, though she wasn't sure as to what it was.’
      • ‘Anything that passed between you and them about this case is confidential.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I was still aware of what had passed between us earlier even if he wasn't.’
      • ‘It seems reasonably clear that something passed between them on the subject.’
      • ‘Little conversation and less counsel passed between the two groups of soldiers.’
      • ‘Harriet had constantly reassured her that she was cool with whatever passed between them.’
      • ‘I was left to just look at him, not sure as to what had just passed between us.’
      • ‘I had no idea what had passed between the two, but the negative vibe was stifling.’
      • ‘The protests did not pass unnoticed within the government parties.’
      • ‘He seemed to know what had passed between them, but didn't say anything further about it.’
      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’
    with two objects ‘he passed her a cup’
    ‘please pass the fish’
    • ‘If you're fed up paying too much for petrol, please pass this message on.’
    • ‘Enmities between rival factions - and even families - are passed down the years, and some go back a century or more.’
    • ‘In addition, wealth is passed from one generation of the wealthy to the next.’
    • ‘The curd tart recipe has been passed down for many years and is a closely-guarded secret.’
    • ‘The stories are passed from generation to generation, often in the form of songs.’
    • ‘A trade that has been passed down for generations came very close to extinction in the late Nineties.’
    • ‘He will provide a display of traditional techniques that have been passed down through the years.’
    • ‘The newspaper's findings have now been passed to the Trade and Industry Secretary.’
    • ‘The disease could not be passed between humans and was easy to cure if caught early enough.’
    • ‘The secret arts of the Egyptians were passed orally from one generation to the next.’
    • ‘Will you please pass the salt, I don't think these French fries were salted.’
    • ‘He filled three cups from a large flask, passing them round and drinking a long draught from his own, before introducing himself as Seth.’
    • ‘Since manic depression is hereditary, did his parents go through a phase of feeling guilty for passing along the gene?’
    • ‘Tales of mermaids in these parts have been passed down over the years.’
    • ‘Please pass this information on to anyone you know who may be interested.’
    • ‘We know how tempting it can be to indulge in listening to or passing along a juicy rumor.’
    • ‘Most family businesses suffer as they are passed from generation to generation.’
    • ‘There is no limit on the value of business assets that may be passed to a child in this way.’
    • ‘I've learned some things about sorting out my home archives that I will pass along to students in my database course.’
    • ‘If you haven't received an invite, let me know, and I'll pass one along.’
    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’
      ‘infections can pass from mother to child at birth’
      • ‘Pigs carry a variety of viruses, and some viruses pass from pig to offspring.’
      • ‘If a car is not removed when requested the cost of collection is now likely to pass to the owner/owners involved.’
      • ‘The taco shop would pass to heirs untaxed, just as the vast majority of small businesses do.’
      • ‘As Mrs Bennet complained, it was cruel for the estate to pass to a Mr Collins ‘whom nobody cared about’.’
      • ‘It was agreed in the event of either death the estate of the deceased would pass to the survivor.’
      • ‘It is well known that cells from the blood of the foetus can pass to the mother during pregnancy.’
      • ‘Infections have been known to pass to other athletes via both routes.’
      • ‘The problem is that when the second spouse dies their joint assets pass to the next generation minus just one inheritance tax allowance.’
      • ‘He presumes that everything would pass to me and that I would have no Inheritance Tax liability.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Joyce stipulated that, in the event of Nora's death, his estate was to pass to their children.’
      • ‘The French throne did not pass to his son, as he had hoped, but to Louis XVIII, the brother of Louis XVI.’
      • ‘They had no children, but it is understood that the hall will pass to another family member.’
      • ‘My other brothers were well situated and had given their birth-rights up, so it would pass to me.’
      • ‘In the second half of 2005, the EU presidency will pass to the UK.’
      • ‘This goes against the widely held belief that the disease could not pass to different species of animals.’
      • ‘Co-ordination of the forests will pass to the Forestry Commission after this time and the cash will help prepare for the transition.’
      • ‘If he were to die as well, then the throne would have to pass to Emmalie, his horrible little sister.’
      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 football, soccer, hockey, and other games) throw, kick, or hit (the ball or puck) to another player on one's own team.
      • ‘She may opt to pass the ball out to a teammate instead of shooting it.’
      • ‘We laughed and started passing a soccer ball to one another.’
      • ‘The tagged player must then pass the ball to a teammate.’
      • ‘Every coach has paired off players and had them pass the ball back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.’
      • ‘He picked up the ball in the inside-right position and trotted forward, although seemingly looking for a teammate to pass to.’
      • ‘He drew the cover defence to pass to Johnny McGahan who ran half the pitch to score near the posts.’
      • ‘But Todd was disappointed with only a point and felt his side should have passed the ball a lot better.’
      • ‘We passed the ball well and responded well to giving a goal away.’
      • ‘The jerseys were too similar in colour and this led to a number of mistakes when players passed the ball to an opponent.’
      • ‘The game starts and the ball is passed from player to player.’
      • ‘It was a joy to watch them play: they were smart and they passed the ball brilliantly.’
      • ‘If one watches Brazil play soccer, they play one-touch soccer, passing the ball around to create the openings.’
      • ‘He might have been better off taking his score but he elected to pass to Michael Lawlor on the edge of the square.’
      • ‘The ball gets passed to a player who can't shoot and has never made a basket, even in practice.’
      • ‘Once a player has been tackled, they pass to a team mate.’
      • ‘Both sides were passing the ball well and creating chances.’
      • ‘I am a great believer in players improving their ability to pass the ball.’
      • ‘If the back defender stays near the basket, pass the ball to one side or the other.’
      • ‘Everybody wants to dunk and showboat, but few can make free throws or pass the ball.’
      • ‘He can pass the ball well and scores a lot of goals for a midfielder.’
      kick, hit, throw, head, lob, loft
      View synonyms
    3. 4.3 Put (something, especially money) into circulation.
      ‘persons who have passed bad checks’
      • ‘When the FBI grabs him for passing counterfeit money, he cuts a deal.’
      • ‘A counterfeit 10-dollar bill was found in Scott's wallet leading the prosecutor to charge him with attempting to pass fake currency.’
      • ‘He received three concurrent sentences of four and a half years for passing bad checks.’
      • ‘She was given community service after admitting passing counterfeit currency.’
      • ‘One of my earlier cases was investigating a bad cheque that had been passed at a local merchant.’
    4. 4.4no object (especially of money) circulate; be current.
      ‘cash was passing briskly’
      • ‘The significant difference here is that no money passed at the first meeting.’
      • ‘Whether the money passes automatically depends on the type of joint accounts you have established.’
      • ‘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 rent currently passing under the lease is £10, 660.00 per annum.’
  • 5with object (of a candidate) be successful in (an examination, test, or course)

    ‘she passed her driving test’
    • ‘The students of a good teacher pass their course, graduate and settle down with good jobs.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The best way I have found to pass exams is simply to turn up to as many lectures as possible.’
    • ‘Often, he says, a student will pass a state test in elementary school only to fail by seventh or eighth grade.’
    • ‘Every two years they have to take a refresher course and pass the test.’
    • ‘All 160 boys at St Paul's School in Barnes passed all subjects with grades A * to C.’
    • ‘Schools also have to present evidence of pupils having passed unit assessments throughout the year.’
    • ‘Applicants must pass a written test.’
    • ‘Also, many states now require students to pass an achievement test in order to graduate or be promoted.’
    • ‘There is an intense pressure on them to be successful - to pass exams and tests.’
    • ‘All secondary school pupils will have to pass tests in the basics - literacy, maths and information technology.’
    • ‘This year again, the percentage of candidates who passed their final exams rose.’
    • ‘A final exam score of 70 percent is required to pass the lesson and move on to the next one.’
    • ‘Since pupils must pass an examination to proceed to the next standard there is a wide age range in some of the higher grades.’
    • ‘The inquest heard he had only recently passed his driving test.’
    • ‘Most soldiers go beyond the bare requirements of staying in shape to pass the Army Physical Fitness Test.’
    • ‘If pupils can't pass the modern exams, the whole system has failed completely.’
    • ‘In college, the goal is not only to pass the course but hopefully remember some of it for the rest of your life.’
    • ‘During her personal development course, Jenny passed exams in food hygiene, health and safety and first aid.’
    • ‘If third-grade students did not pass the test, they would be retained in third grade.’
    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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He had been put through a very rigorous test before he was 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.’
    2. 5.2pass as/forno object Be accepted as or taken for.
      ‘he could pass for a native of Sweden’
      • ‘I've picked out his gift and struggled over an appropriate note that makes a vain attempt to impart something passing for wisdom.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There is something seriously amiss among most people passing for politicians.’
      • ‘What we have passing for democracy, therefore, is elected dictatorship.’
      • ‘Do they seriously think their nasty, sarcastic comments come close to passing as witty?’
      • ‘On the highway, you can get quite a thrill overtaking all those puny vehicles passing for buses.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This is the opposite of passively watching corporate-sponsored TV programs with government press releases passing for news.’
      • ‘They watch the corporate owned media and accept the garbage passed as news.’
      • ‘I was in year 9 and, despite being capable of growing a passable imitation of a beard, wasn't capable of passing for 18.’
      • ‘We have to accept that most of what passes for knowledge cannot be proved beyond all doubt.’
      • ‘He wanted to know what I was doing in Atlanta while a comedy of errors was passing for local politics on the island.’
      • ‘We feel obliged to come up with something that passes as native.’
      be mistaken for, be taken for, be regarded as, be accepted as
      View synonyms
    3. 5.3no object Be accepted as adequate; go uncensured.
      ‘she couldn't agree, but let it pass’
      ‘her rather revealing dress passed without comment’
      • ‘I wasn't going to comment on it, but the media spin was just too unbelievable to let it pass.’
      • ‘Actually, it was a couple of days back, but 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.’
      • ‘Some people are willing to let it pass and the rest of us aren't.’
      • ‘Tina narrowed her blue eyes slightly, but she decided to let it pass.’
      • ‘We exchanged a look at this, but both decided to let it pass.’
      • ‘Strange thing to say, I thought, but there was something comforting about it even so, and 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.’
      • ‘There was a slight tension between them but Callum tried to let it pass.’
      • ‘The implication that he holds ownership over me makes me seethe, but I 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.’
      • ‘We could give up in disgust, forget the whole thing and let it pass.’
      • ‘Alex didn't even question how the DVD player worked and let it pass when I made instant popcorn.’
      • ‘John recognized the mocking tone in his voice and knew that he still didn't believe him, but he 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.’
      • ‘He should have remarked on this, but let it pass.’
      • ‘Katherine caught the expression and was growing angry herself, but she let it pass.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Harry had been ready to let it pass, to accept his confession, and he had refused that.’
  • 6with object (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’
    • ‘My union branch committee has unanimously passed a resolution to back all the protests.’
    • ‘It is clear that the parties are taking positions to pass this bill in its entirety.’
    • ‘In our system of government, he said, the legislature passes laws and then the executive interprets them.’
    • ‘That has been the strongest, principled position against passing the bill at this stage.’
    • ‘Other European governments are closely watching French developments as they consider passing similar laws.’
    • ‘The following year he passed the Trade Disputes Act, which declared general strikes to be revolutionary and illegal.’
    • ‘The motion was passed by 555 votes in favour and 4 against, 48 abstained.’
    • ‘When the New York legislature failed to pass an emancipation law, some slaves ran away.’
    • ‘However, I am disappointed that we could not unanimously pass this legislation today because of Democratic obstruction.’
    • ‘Have all administrative, legal and legislative avenues to pass a law truly been exhausted?’
    • ‘Parliament is expected to pass legislation approving the Prime Minister's move early this year.’
    • ‘The Constitution was amended to eliminate the king's power to block bills passed by parliament.’
    • ‘It is not a requirement of international law that we pass this legislation.’
    • ‘Laws are passed by legislatures on the basis of necessity, rather than morality.’
    • ‘Laws are passed with retrospective effect, late at night with bipartisan support and virtually no debate.’
    • ‘I'd like to appeal to the Florida senators to please, please pass this new bill.’
    • ‘The new law was passed despite opposition from the Health Ministry and medical community.’
    • ‘In 1969 an Act was passed which lowered the age of all voters to 18.’
    • ‘Congress quickly passed a non-binding resolution backing him.’
    • ‘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?’
    1. 6.1no object (of a proposal or law) be examined and approved by (a legislative body or process)
      ‘the Bill passed by 164 votes to 107’
      • ‘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 still has to pass the House of Lords.’
      • ‘It already has passed the Senate and the Assembly will vote on it in late-August.’
      • ‘While the voucher scheme did not pass Congress, the testing proposals passed both the House and the Senate.’
      • ‘A similar bill to address the digital divide already passed the Senate unanimously.’
      • ‘The bill was removed from the legislature's schedule, together with other bills that failed to pass committee review.’
      approve, vote for, accept, ratify, adopt, carry, agree to, authorize, sanction, endorse, validate, legalize, put into effect, enact
      View synonyms
  • 7with object Pronounce (a judgment or judicial sentence)

    ‘passing judgment on these crucial issues’
    ‘it is now my duty to pass sentence upon you’
    • ‘Magistrates deliberated for over an hour before passing a four-month custodial sentence on the 32-year-old farmer.’
    • ‘The magistrates passed sentence after reading pre-sentence reports.’
    • ‘A judge passing sentence at Preston Crown Court told her she had been convicted on overwhelming evidence.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘North Yorkshire Police have said national guidelines prevent them from commenting on the case until sentence has been passed.’
    • ‘Accordingly, he proceeded to pass the sentences of 8 years concurrent on each count.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They passed a two-month consecutive term for the assault, with a concurrent 14 days for criminal damage.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The judicial decision must be made before sentence is passed and the decision must be made obvious by the judge.’
    • ‘The last two of the accused were found guilty today and the judge announced he will pass sentence on all the defendants tomorrow.’
    • ‘Each member of this court would, it should be recorded, have passed a longer sentence for that offence.’
    • ‘In passing sentence the judge said that the appellant had an appalling record.’
    • ‘She admitted she had grave misgivings about passing such a sentence, but said she was prepared to give the defendant a chance.’
    • ‘She passed a nine years term on each of the four offences, all to run concurrently.’
    • ‘They applauded as the judge passed a mandatory life sentence.’
    • ‘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.’
    declare, pronounce, utter, express, deliver, issue, set forth
    View synonyms
    1. 7.1 Utter (something, especially criticism)
      ‘she would pass remarks about the Paxtons in their own house’
      • ‘He recently passed critical comments about the attitude of cotton farmers.’
      • ‘Justine said that when in company some people had passed remarks such as: ‘Have you tried to kill yourself?’’
      • ‘I was brought up not to pass remarks.’
      • ‘They were young guys themselves and they kept passing comments.’
      • ‘Everyone thought they had the right to pass comment and judgement on her.’
    2. 7.2pass on/uponarchaic no object Adjudicate or give a judgment on.
      ‘a jury could not be trusted to pass upon the question of Endicott's good faith’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Instead of that, you come here now, some three years and more after the decision, seeking to have this Court pass upon it.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘This decision was passed upon by their Lordships' House.’
  • 8with object Discharge (something, especially urine or feces) from the body.

    ‘frequency of passing urine’
    • ‘It's important not to pass urine for at least four hours - and sometimes overnight - before a urine sample is taken.’
    • ‘This can cause pressure on the bladder, increasing the sensation of needing to pass urine.’
    • ‘She was seen a week ago complaining of being sore ‘down below’ and pain on passing urine for one week.’
    • ‘The side-effects of radiotherapy include tiredness, a burning sensation on passing urine and early menopause.’
    • ‘Fifteen per cent of both men and women got up at night to pass urine.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Catheters are thin flexible tubes which are inserted into the bladder to allow urine to be passed.’
    • ‘Any enlargement of the prostate (cancerous or benign) can cause problems with passing 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 suffers from a bladder problem which means he has to pass urine frequently and urgently,’ he said.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Chlamydia can cause pain when passing urine, long-term pelvic pain and infertility.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Some people also complain of tension headaches, stomach cramps and of having to get up repeatedly at night to pass urine.’
    • ‘Caffeine and alcohol make you pass more urine or irritate your bladder and give you urgency.’
    • ‘The patient complained of a three year history of difficulty passing urine, being able to produce only a thin trickle of urine with straining.’
    • ‘This is simply to help relax the muscles - no urine will actually be passed.’
    • ‘Urinary incontinence is passing urine when you don't mean to because of partial or total loss of control of the bladder.’
    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.

    ‘we pass on dessert and have coffee’
    • ‘We passed on a sweet and ordered a second bottle of fizz instead.’
    • ‘We invited them over and they said they had to pass.’
    • ‘Company after company passed because they were unsure whether to handle it as music or a book.’
    • ‘I had three opportunities to sell, all of which I passed on because I thought something bigger and better was coming.’
    • ‘Thank you for the offer, but I think I'd better pass.’
    • ‘Until some changes are made, I'm going to have to pass.’
    1. 9.1as exclamation Said when one does not know the answer to a question, for example in a quizzing game.
      ‘to the enigmatic question we answered “Pass.”’
      • ‘A fellow was asked a few questions on 20th Century Irish history, and he kept saying ‘pass’, to every question.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 9.2with object (of a company) not declare or pay (a dividend)
      • ‘When the Company passed its dividend in 1867, the value of its shares fell sharply.’
      • ‘It passed its halfyear dividend and turnover fell almost 30 per cent.’
      • ‘They'll have to pass their dividend.’
    3. 9.3Bridge Make no bid when it is one's turn during an auction.
      • ‘If at least one bid was made, the auction ends when two players have passed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Some play that if the first three players pass, the dealer is not allowed to pass, but must bid.’
      • ‘Each bid must be higher than the previous one, and a player who does not wish to bid can 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’
    • ‘I was doing well and had even made a pass at 207.94 mph, but then I ran into a little problem.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The wide swath means fewer passes over the target area.’
    • ‘In one of the tests, five 5000 lb pallets were offloaded in a single pass.’
    • ‘A seaplane operated by protest groups made several passes over the area.’
    • ‘The helicopters made several low passes over the area and both drew fire, he said.’
    • ‘Ben flew his first eight night passes, and we departed the pattern for our side-to-side crew swap.’
    • ‘The tractor broom with the lowest forward gear performed best and generally removed the surface in a single pass.’
    • ‘All three pictures that follow were taken today in a single pass by the satellite.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If you have a 26-inch path and get 6 inches of snow, single passes with a snowblower will reveal the ground.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After a number of passes around the Sun the comet becomes largely or completely de-iced and so resembles an asteroid.’
    • ‘The trials involve the delivery of stores and up to 90 British paratroopers from a single pass.’
    • ‘The laser is set to the appropriate settings and a single pass is made over the entire face, including the eyelids.’
    • ‘If you are going to seed the lawn, you should make six to 10 passes over the area with a machine.’
    1. 1.1 An act of passing the hands over anything, as in conjuring or hypnotism.
      • ‘As he spoke, he made a magician's pass, and a microphone appeared in his hand.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Agrippa taught this form of shoulder thrust along with the common use of the pass.’
      • ‘He fells them with one sweeping pass of his sword.’
    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. 1.4Bridge An act of refraining from bidding during the auction.
      • ‘The bidding ends after two consecutive passes.’
      • ‘The player that opened with a pass may respond by doubling the bid, in which case the usual procedure is followed.’
    5. 1.5Computing 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 successful completion of an examination or course.

    as modifier ‘a 100 percent pass rate’
    • ‘Last year more than 21% of students attained A grade passes at A level.’
    • ‘Twelve boys achieved the incredible feat of achieving five A-grade passes each.’
    • ‘He is now looking at just four GCSE passes as opposed to the eight high grade passes she believes he is capable of.’
    • ‘Entrants should have five GCSE passes at grades A-C.’
    • ‘She obtained a first-class pass in her final examination.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Overall, the percentage of students achieving a pass has increased to 98 per cent.’
    • ‘She was delighted with the results and the overall pass rate of 97 per cent.’
    • ‘Only two per cent of students in Wandsworth schools failed to gain a single pass.’
    • ‘At Manchester High School for Girls the pass rate was 100 per cent.’
    • ‘The headteacher said that 81 per cent of the passes were A and B grades.’
    • ‘He held a very careful oral examination after a student had been awarded a pass in a written examination.’
    • ‘Overall, 85 per cent of students walked away with five GCSE passes at grades A * to C.’
    • ‘Of key interest to parents is the percentage of students achieving five or more GCSE passes at grade C or above.’
    • ‘Somehow or another I managed to get the right combination of honours and passes to be accepted at college.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘However, those figures are based on grades A to E, whereas only grades A to C count as passes in Highers.’
    • ‘She wants to read maths at Cambridge University, for which she requires good passes in two advanced maths Highers.’
    1. 2.1US The grade indicating the successful completion of an examination or course.
      • ‘He was put forward for the exam this summer after teachers spotted his unusual ability for the subject and got a grade B pass.’
      • ‘He saw his expected grade C pass plunge to a grade U fail.’
      • ‘Fifteen students at Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School achieved three A grade passes.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, Windermere St Anne's held true to the trend of escalating A grade passes.’
      • ‘He achieved five grade A passes at A level and a further two at AS level.’
      • ‘He earned seven A * and two A grade passes.’
      • ‘Other successes included one student who got one of the top five Law passes in the country and a group of five maths students who gained four or five grade A passes each.’
      • ‘This year 91.1% of the school's A-level entries achieved grade A or B passes.’
      • ‘She got four A grade passes and plans to study psychology at Lancaster University.’
      • ‘One student got five Grade A passes.’
    2. 2.2British An achievement of a university degree without honors.
      as modifier ‘a pass degree’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He went on to Christ's College, Cambridge, took a pass degree, and became a clergyman.’
      • ‘It will also focus attention on why so many more men get a pass degree, almost right across the board.’
      • ‘He did very poorly in his degree and had to settle for only a pass degree.’
  • 3A card, ticket, or permit giving authorization for the holder to enter or have access to a place, form of transportation, or event.

    • ‘A very distinct advantage to having a press pass is getting in before the general public.’
    • ‘Transit passes are available to visitors attending meetings, conferences, and conventions.’
    • ‘The sentries at the main gate refused to let him enter because his pass had expired.’
    • ‘A six-day adult lift pass costs £85.’
    • ‘Domestic passengers can use the touch-screen kiosks to receive a boarding pass if they have an electronic ticket.’
    • ‘Seating is limited so make sure you get your passes in advance.’
    • ‘All personnel on duty in Portsmouth for the duration of the festival will get special passes giving free access.’
    • ‘A half fare bus pass is available allowing travel throughout Wiltshire and Swindon.’
    • ‘VIP passes were widely counterfeited, and double the expected number of people showed up.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Staff directly employed by Transport for London receive a free travel pass.’
    • ‘I take out my wallet and rifle through my collection of passes and membership cards.’
    • ‘My media pass only permitted access to the Grandstand, where the dress rules were more relaxed.’
    • ‘Upon starting the tour, you receive a boarding pass with a name of a passenger.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Entry to the event is free, but strictly through student ID cards or passes.’
    • ‘Those with travel passes can now travel free on the bus.’
    • ‘For a fraction of the costs of a bus pass, students will get unlimited access to transit.’
    permit, warrant, authorization, licence
    View synonyms
  • 4(in football, soccer, hockey, and other games) an act of throwing, kicking, or hitting the ball or puck to another player on the same team.

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

    ‘she made a pass at Stephen’
    • ‘On a recent visit to my friend's house, I was shocked and upset when her new husband made a pass at me.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I was sitting in the living room and whilst my friend was in the kitchen her husband made a pass at me.’
    • ‘When she put him to bed, he made a pass at her.’
    • ‘He never, in any way, made a pass at me, although he took an enormous interest in me as a person.’
    • ‘Rick had made a pass at her little sister.’
    • ‘His gay feelings were aroused by a man who made a pass at him in the cinema.’
    • ‘He and the woman were having a drink together when she made a pass at him.’
    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 bad or difficult, nature.

    ‘this is a sad pass for a fixture that used to crackle with excitement’
    • ‘But don't you see, my poor darling, that loyalty is a silly virtue in the pass we are in?’
    • ‘It is a pity though that things have come to a pass where you and others feel this way.’
    • ‘This marks a sad pass for a brand name that, while dreaded by many parents, spelled excitement to a generation of kids.’
    • ‘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.’
    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
  • 7Bridge
    An act of refraining from bidding during the auction.

Phrases

  • pass one's eye over

    • Read (a document) cursorily.

      • ‘You can't merely pass your eyes over a page, underline a few things, and consider the job done.’
      • ‘She has agreed to pass her eye over my personal journal and point out the typos.’
      • ‘He passed his eye over the report.’
      • ‘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.’
  • pass water

    • Urinate.

      • ‘He was having trouble passing water, and seemed to be in some discomfort.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Nowadays I need to pass water more often than before, but I'm otherwise well.’
      • ‘Most people need to pass water every three to four hours during the day and up to once or twice in the night.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I told you I wanted to pass water three hours ago and you said I should wait till we got here.’
      • ‘The need to pass water is sometimes very urgent, and doing so can be painful.’
      • ‘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.’
  • come to a pretty pass

    • Reach a bad or regrettable state of affairs.

      • ‘‘If a 79-year-old married couple cannot feel safe in their home then this country is coming to a pretty pass,’ he said.’
      • ‘We have come to a pretty pass when Scotland's chief quango is pilloried, just because it has forgotten to apply for £32m due to it (or, rather, to the Scottish public) from the European Union.’
      • ‘It came to a pretty pass when pensioners had to preface their comments with ‘please do not shout me down’, especially when they were agreeing with the majority of those who were there.’
      • ‘We have come to a pretty pass when territorial customary rights are referred to as ‘TCRs’.’
      • ‘Things have come to a pretty pass when you can't even rely on our capitalists for a robust defence of black humour.’
      • ‘It comes to a pretty pass when we're relying on a 17-year-old lad who's barely out of his school shorts to win games for us.’
      • ‘Things have come to a pretty pass indeed when the UK's ‘human rights envoy’ disgraces herself and her party by exhibiting such naked racism toward the subjects of colonial rule.’
      • ‘IT has come to a pretty pass when a leading business psychologist claims Scots are so lacking in confidence that they only make the grade when they are exiled from the land that bore them.’
      • ‘According to the Good Doctor, things have come to a pretty pass.’
      • ‘If we can't settle our economic differences by truly free economic bargaining without damaging seriously the United States, then we have come to a pretty pass.’
      • ‘While any theatre festival should resist parochialism and embrace the international, the paucity of domestic productions, much less any new Irish writing, suggests things have come to a pretty pass for Irish theatre.’
      • ‘Things have come to a pretty pass when the Left starts to sing the praises of nuclear deterrence.’
      • ‘Things have come to a pretty pass when ever a Bishop and his wife cannot drive along the Queen's highway in broad daylight without being battered with stones by loitering navvies.’
      • ‘Or to put it another way, things have come to a pretty pass in England when we have to rely on the Tory Party to stand up for freedom of speech.’
      • ‘If people didn't know a perfectly ordinary bath-sponge when they saw it, things were coming to a pretty pass.’
      • ‘Things have come to a pretty pass when, under a Labour government, the fight against a new attack on trade union rights is left to a small old Labour band in the House of Lords.’
      • ‘It is coming to a pretty pass when a woman cannot walk the street without being arrested as disorderly’
      • ‘The GM crops débâcle is a typical such issue; we have come to a pretty pass when even Monsanto recognises it is time to uproot itself and move to another flowerpot, but the Great Charlatan still clings to his delusions.’
      • ‘Pity about the Lions as well, as I have said before, this time last year perhaps, it comes to a pretty pass when I have to rely on the England cricket team for some sporting success…’
      • ‘Things have come to a pretty pass when a Guardian columnist has to advise the Tory party not to panic.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • pass away

    • Die.

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

    • Happen without being noticed or fully experienced by someone.

      ‘sometimes I feel that life is passing me by’
      • ‘As ‘progress’ happens, year by year, it passes us by.’
      • ‘We were blissfully unaware of the days passing us by.’
      • ‘If you are not accustomed to being up at this hour, it's one of those pleasures in life that is passing you 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It feels like we are kind of standing still while the world is passing us by.’
      • ‘How horrible it must be to be forced to live in such a place while life is passing them by.’
  • pass off

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

      ‘the weekend had passed off entirely without incident’
      • ‘It's up to me to make sure everything passes off without a hitch.’
      • ‘Earlier, a march by around 250,000 demonstrators had passed off peacefully but one large group set fire to government buildings.’
      • ‘She said the event had passed off peacefully with no arrests.’
      • ‘‘The night passed off without any major incident, indeed it was very quiet,’ he said.’
      • ‘We will be policing this event appropriately, to make sure the rally passes off without incident.’
      • ‘Despite a huge police presence following months of warnings about the potential for trouble, the event passed off peacefully.’
      • ‘Around 20 000 people turned up to this year's festivities and it passed off without any trouble.’
      • ‘Buskers and street artists performed at every corner and the entire proceedings passed off without a hitch.’
      • ‘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.’
      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.’
      • ‘It seemed as if he meant to pass it off as a casual observation.’
      • ‘Simpson now passes the comment off as ‘a joke’.’
      • ‘He forced a smile, hoping to pass the remark off as a mild joke.’
      • ‘When I meet him, he tries to pass it off with a joke.’
    • 2Basketball
      Throw the ball to a teammate who is unguarded.

      ‘he scored eight times and passed off six assists’
      • ‘That meant he would have to shoot from long range or try to drive and pass the ball off.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He did a nice fake then passed the ball off to our power forward under the basket.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘More than a third of women admit to heating up supermarket products and passing them off as their own creations.’
      • ‘The disturbing issue is that this advertisement was passed off as a legitimate newsworthy article in the sports section.’
      • ‘It says that staff in some poultry slaughterhouses commonly repackage and re-date raw chicken several times, passing it off as fresh meat.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A trader has been fined £400 after passing off an ‘inferior’ car alarm as an independently approved model.’
      • ‘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.’
      misrepresent, falsely represent, give a false identity to
      View synonyms
  • pass on

    • Die.

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

    • 1Become unconscious.

      ‘he consumed enough alcohol to make him pass out’
      • ‘He had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2003 after passing out at the wheel of his car.’
      • ‘At this point, sheer panic set in, as I was about 30 seconds from passing out.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The court heard the woman passed out and was dragged unconscious from the creek.’
      • ‘Fortunately, my nephew has made a complete recovery and remembers everything that happened before he passed out.’
      • ‘You're going to pass out unless you can get your breathing under control.’
      • ‘After being released on probation, he ended up passing out drunk and was picked up by police.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is rare that anyone can last more than 5 minutes before passing out.’
      • ‘At the Convention Centre, people stumbled toward the helicopters, dehydrated and nearly passing out from exhaustion.’
      faint, collapse, lose consciousness, black out, keel over
      View synonyms
    • 2Complete one's initial training in the armed forces.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘After passing out recently, he joined 42 Commando.’
      • ‘He passed out in June 2001 following a 40-week intensive training course.’
      • ‘He ended up in the Territorial Army, joined the Commandos and passed out at Sandhurst as an officer in the Welsh Regiment.’
      • ‘He was the fittest recruit to pass out of training for the Royal Marines.’
      • ‘After graduating with a BA in geography from Salford University, he joined the Royal Marines and passed out in 1996.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Martin successfully passed out at the Royal Marines training centre in Devon.’
    • 3(of bridge players) not play a hand because all players have passed.

      • ‘If all four players pass on their first turn to speak the hand is said to be passed out.’
      • ‘This is passed out and Laura comes down with a 10-count including 3 hearts.’
      • ‘In second seat my hand looked awful to me, so I passed, and it was passed out.’
  • pass someone over

    • Ignore the claims of someone to promotion or advancement.

      ‘he was passed over for a cabinet job’
      • ‘You want me to pass you over for promotions and pay you less for doing the same job?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In 1947, he was passed over for the post of professor of English literature at Merton College.’
      • ‘How many times has she passed you over for a promotion?’
      • ‘She was passed over time and again for pay raises and promotions.’
      • ‘When Bruce is passed over for the news anchorman job he covets, he turns his gaze heavenward and curses God for his ill fortune.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘You passed me over for promotion.’
      • ‘But his severity made him unpopular with the boys and he was passed over for promotion.’
  • pass something over

    • Avoid mentioning or considering something.

      ‘I shall pass over the matter of the transitional period’
      • ‘These omissions of authors and the selectivity silently practised with included authors is to be expected, though its ramifications are passed over.’
      • ‘Certain highly sensitive subjects might be passed over for legitimate national security reasons.’
      • ‘Indeed, in Yorkshire records at the time and subsequently, the event is passed over with scant mention.’
      • ‘More important, the teacher passes over an opportunity for expanding learning when she does not respond to Emily's question about the pumpkin.’
      • ‘Too often the truth is passed over in favour of pleasing advertisers and third parties.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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’.’
      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’
      • ‘Having waited so long for the chance he can't envisage passing it up.’
      • ‘She would never be able to forgive herself if she passed up an opportunity like this.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘Two scoring chances had been passed up before Clarke put his side four up again with yet another remarkable point.’
      • ‘If you get the chance to see this band live, do not even consider passing it up.’
      • ‘Surely his superiors would not want him to pass up such an opportunity.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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

/pæs//pas/

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 brothers travelled clandestinely through Iran, and crossed illegally into Turkey over a mountain pass.’
    • ‘By late afternoon they had reached the valley of the mountain pass and the south road.’
    • ‘The government's weakness and Washington's fear that terrorists might set up camp in the country's mountain passes have kept it there.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘During December and January the ground was frozen hard, and even travelling to the site over mountain roads and passes proved hazardous.’
    • ‘The road twisted and hairpinned and climbed, but as scary mountain passes go, it was pretty tame.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We drove north, broken-down trucks littering the road as we travelled up to the summit of the pass through the mountain.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘What it is Off-road running on dirt tracks and mountain passes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Rather than retrace our steps, we continued southwards, traversing the mountain down to a pass called Bwlch Tryfan.’
    • ‘The mountain passes are high and demanding, the climate gives extremes of weather conditions, the infrastructure is primitive and the hidden wastelands are boundless.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Militants' camps have never been completely wound up and infiltration takes place after the melting of snow at the passes straddling over the mountains.’
    • ‘Snow levels will be dropping throughout the daytime tomorrow from above the mountain passes down to below the mountain passes.’
    • ‘Beware of what appear to be shortcuts on maps - these often turn out to be unpaved roads or mountain passes.’
    • ‘The mountain pass is a difficult road to travel and it appears as though you are not apothecaries or wandering salesmen.’
    • ‘She has breathtaking pictures of a mountain pass so high, that the clouds may be seen way down below.’
    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.
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘A fish pass was incorporated into the new culvert constructed over the Corroy River to allow passage for fish when river flows are low.’
      • ‘They died because a fish pass was built using incorrect water levels.’
      • ‘Fish were currently unable to bypass the weir because the fish pass was not operating, he said.’
      • ‘Fish struggling to find their way through a fish pass have been given a helping hand by the Environment Agency.’
      • ‘The agency is also looking at installing a fish pass at Farington Weir to help the fish reach spawning ground upstream.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The agency will also create a new fish pass at Callis Bridge.’
      • ‘The company was now being asked to spend £20,000 on a fish pass based largely on anecdote.’
      • ‘An existing fish pass has fallen into disrepair and is not maintained, resulting in fish finding it hard to get upriver to spawn.’
      • ‘Some passes produced more fish than others, but none left us empty-handed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It said two persons were apprehended while attempting to take fish illegally at the fish pass in November.’
    2. 1.2US A navigable channel, especially at the mouth of a river.
      ‘Sabine Pass’
      • ‘The regiment stood there howling victory as the other armies ran toward the mouth of the pass.’
      • ‘There are two passes where the storm surges come from the Gulf to Lake Pontchartrain.’
      • ‘When the mouth of the pass opened itself at last, a wide, craggy mouth of trees and stone, the eagle rock came into full view.’
      • ‘Competitors face a technical track never previously used in the Dakar that requires careful navigation through breathtaking passes and over unavoidable ergs.’
      • ‘By the time they reached the mouth of the pass, there was a faint dusting of snow on the ground around them.’
      • ‘Looking down from the mouth of the pass, I could see now that a lot of our members wouldn't make it before the storm broke.’
      • ‘The rank of men at the mouth of the pass trying to hold back the bulk of Kasra's army forcing its way through the valley began to crumble.’
      • ‘The floods at one stage forced the famous scenic city of Guilin to close its river pass.’
      • ‘They would damn the river and create a water by pass.’
      • ‘There are eight passes and many fine anchorages, which make up for the shortage of beaches.’
      • ‘About a dozen Iraqi trucks had emerged from the mouth of the pass.’
      • ‘It gets in and out of the lagoon through any channels or passes there may be in the reef.’
      • ‘Other areas, we found on a coral reef we have a current coming through a passage or a pass, quite often on the edges of those passes or channels, there's less bleaching occurring.’
      • ‘One is called the Shark-hole, and the other is the channel or pass itself.’

Phrases

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

    • Forestall someone or something.

      ‘the doctor's aim to head the infection off at the pass’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We've got to know what's going to happen before it happens so we can cut them off at the pass.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘The idea is to deal with emerging issues and cut things off at the pass before they become politicized and polarizing,’ Collord explains.’
      • ‘It's part of their job to extrapolate from current trends, anticipate future problems, and head them 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 morning I could feel it coming on again, and took some aspirin to head it off at the pass, as it were.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I tried to beat her to Safehaven, but a stop light kept me from heading her off at the pass.’
      • ‘You've got to see what happens, but if there are going to be problems, we better head them off at the pass.’
      • ‘Then I agree that if you head them off at the pass, and they persist and are violent, then you fight fire with fire.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So she clenched her teeth and took her chance - headed the bucket holder 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.’
      • ‘‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

pass

/pæs//pas/