Definition of passable in US English:



  • 1Just good enough to be acceptable; satisfactory.

    ‘he spoke passable English’
    • ‘It's got passable graphics, a mediocre soundtrack, and gameplay that depends in large part on your ability to mash the Square button.’
    • ‘Rumour has it that in a major earthquake, the synthetic ground will simply liquify and the entire area will do a passable impression of Atlantis' final moments.’
    • ‘It's a passable presentation, with dialogue, effects, and music mixed equally.’
    • ‘The remainder tracks are passable but not memorable enough to merit mention.’
    • ‘His face was not much to look at - certainly not handsome, but passable enough.’
    • ‘The outfit was passable with her house-slippers, but satisfied her.’
    • ‘The film seems in reasonably good shape, with some dirt and dusts now and again, but overall, a passable presentation.’
    • ‘My old jacket isn't even real tweed but only a passable imitation.’
    • ‘Cumulo-Nimbus clouds apparently lying atop the South Downs and turning them into a passable imitation of a snow-capped mountain range.’
    • ‘For your information, I thought it was perfectly passable, and nasty enough, without being too scary.’
    • ‘The result is a highly inoffensive, passable sound which has its interesting, if unremarkable, moments.’
    • ‘‘There were some passable wines but, in general, this was a shocking experience,’ one taster said.’
    • ‘Where British accents are required, the actors do a passable job, though they sound more mid-Atlantic than Manchester.’
    • ‘Kantine food was passable, and after work, there was just enough energy to make it home and go to bed.’
    • ‘He raised his voice a few tones on these last words, giving a passable imitation of his friend, and Telli joined him in laughing.’
    • ‘My command of the language was verging on the passable but it was not polished enough for a deep exploration of modern European politics, and certainly not at that speed.’
    • ‘In all, this disc is a passable presentation of a surprisingly interesting film.’
    • ‘What notion of vision and flair achieved this passable imitation of a prison yard?’
    • ‘They speak fluent French, passable German, and have notions of Spanish.’
    • ‘In her opinion, her looks were passable enough to be called pretty.’
    adequate, all right, fairly good, acceptable, sufficiently good, sufficient, satisfactory, moderately good, not bad, not too bad, average, tolerable, fair, decent, respectable, presentable, admissible, allowable
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  • 2(of a route or road) clear of obstacles and able to be traveled along or on.

    ‘the road was passable with care’
    • ‘You need to get out there, assuming there are any passable roads.’
    • ‘A few paved trunk roads and many passable dirt roads make Maasailand accessible.’
    • ‘Downtown roads are passable for the most part, with scattered debris mostly from trees.’
    • ‘Cape Farewell is a series of expeditions into the Arctic, through a previously icebound but now passable route.’
    • ‘Yes, things have changed and changed for the better and now rural people have acquired auto means of transport because roads are passable.’
    • ‘Keeping the clay roads passable, especially in winter, was a difficult task.’
    • ‘Many other roads were only passable with care including the Cat and Fiddle road, the A54 Buxton to Congleton road.’
    • ‘The streets were so choked with sellers and shoppers alike that oftentimes only one lane of the street was passable for cars.’
    • ‘An engineer with Kerry County Council said the road is still passable and there are traffic lights in operation.’
    • ‘Mr. Moore was a traveling dentist when roads were passable and a hatter in the winter months.’
    • ‘By last night the force said most roads were passable with care.’
    • ‘Snow was settling on the Pennines this morning but roads were still passable with care.’
    • ‘A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said Whitby and Scarborough were the worst hit areas but all main roads were passable with care.’
    • ‘He plays a vital role travelling ahead of us to check our intended route is safely passable and helping anyone who falls overboard.’
    • ‘In Elvington, there was serious flooding but roads were passable with care.’
    • ‘He challenged Kitwe residents to pay land rates as this would help the council ensure that the roads were made passable.’
    • ‘There would be no ambulance, especially with the snow too deep for the road to be passable.’
    • ‘The rebuilding should make the roads passable this planting season as well as make it easier for possible rehabilitation next year.’
    • ‘Back in the 1920s keeping the clay road passable for bullock teams was a difficult matter.’
    • ‘The lack of passable roads in rural areas makes it difficult to transport agricultural products to market.’
    navigable, traversable, negotiable, crossable, able to be travelled along, able to be travelled on, unblocked, unobstructed, open, clear, usable
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Late Middle English: from Old French, from passer ‘to pass’.