Definition of passing in English:



  • 1Going past.

    ‘passing cars’
    • ‘In fact I do forget, but then I see my reflection in a storefront window or in the window of a passing car, and I'm this man holding a box.’
    • ‘Sleeping by day was none the less a poor option, as they were persistent, and not easily convinced of your absence; your heart would race with every passing car or footstep.’
    • ‘In another incident an hour later a gunman got out of a blue Rover and fired at a passing car on Wellington Road, Moss Side in what police believe may have been a case of mistaken identity.’
    • ‘Pick your stuff up and run to the car, preferably on the passenger's side, putting the car between you and passing traffic.’
    • ‘Finally after hours at the knife-edge of death, he fled half-stripped, bleeding and handcuffed into the street, where he flagged down a passing police car.’
    • ‘The doorman flagged down a passing police car and pointed officers in the direction of Wicker Hill.’
    • ‘We walked across the bridge, admiring its construction, the passing cars and the East River perilously close.’
    • ‘Demonstrators burned tyres and hurled stones at passing police cars.’
    • ‘A police spokesman said a collie was struck by a passing car as it escaped the camper van and ran away from the scene of the accident.’
    • ‘They hang in the trees, rest on the wires, run across the lawn in search of crumbs and dive bomb into the bushes when a passing car frightens them.’
    • ‘The sound of children excitedly running around their school playground and the drone of passing cars are the only noises that disturb the tranquillity of rural life.’
    • ‘Eventually she managed to flag down a passing car which took her to the Tyrls police station in the city centre.’
    • ‘A passing police car was alerted to the incident and arrested the teenager in minutes.’
    • ‘Luckily a passing police car stopped and helped.’
    • ‘Outside Mrs Roughley, who had been joined outside by some regulars, flagged down a passing police car.’
    • ‘A passing police car was flagged down by witnesses and although the car was chased along Northway Lane it managed to escape.’
    • ‘Theywere able to flag down a passing police car which escorted them to an area where they could park as Lisa began to deliver the baby.’
    • ‘They looked serious: they were touting machine guns and had one of those spiked things you throw across the road when you want to puncture the tyres of passing cars.’
    • ‘It didn't have to compete with the background rumble of traffic, trains and industry, the blaring stereo from the passing car or even the incessant ring of mobile phones.’
    • ‘He tailed her for some time before a passing police car scared him off.’
  • 2(of a period of time) going by.

    ‘she detested him more with every passing second’
    • ‘The passing summer days are pleasant for the newly married Clym and Eustacia.’
    • ‘Each passing year leaves us with fewer veterans of the First World War to describe eye-witness accounts of the horror, bravery and comradeship at the front.’
    • ‘With every passing year, the number of journalists voting increased.’
    • ‘My drinks shelf used to live; the ebb and flow in the bottles pulsating with the passing days.’
    • ‘However, it will not steer him wide of the summer scrap heap on to which record numbers of players are being carelessly tossed with each passing year.’
    • ‘He wasn't really bad looking but the passing years of seven decades definitely changed him.’
    • ‘His stroppy attention-seeking reaches new levels with each passing day, as do his half-hearted demands to leave Celebrity Big Brother.’
    • ‘So with the passing years some religions died while others gained in strength.’
    • ‘The number of titles available gradually rises with each passing semester.’
    • ‘The idea that a business must endure and grow stronger with every passing year or quarter seems quite contrary to what the reality of business is.’
    • ‘We get so used to actors slapping on make up in order to age, that seeing them acquire genuine signs of the passing years is a shock of realism.’
    • ‘The centrepiece of attraction is that the calendar tells a heart warming story with each passing month of the current year.’
    • ‘But as the new season moved closer, the stakes were raised with every passing day.’
    • ‘The numbers are decreasing with every passing year, their writing and painting are gradually fading out, their pages have become fragile and brittle.’
    • ‘They lost comrades-in-arms by the score during the four-year-conflict and the number of survivors has dwindled with every passing anniversary.’
    • ‘‘It's been over a week and every passing day is now critical,’ Bellamy said.’
    • ‘He described the situation as alarming because, according to experts, the quality of the grain was deteriorating with every passing day.’
    • ‘Thanks to a summer that threatens to get more scorching with each passing day, the hapless Bangalorean doesn't have any other choice.’
    • ‘We do, however, need to address the situation with regards to new entrants into farming as, currently, the average age of our farmers is increasing with each passing year.’
    • ‘I suspect it was the latter, because more and more people left with each passing inning.’
    1. 2.1 Carried out quickly and lightly.
      ‘a passing glance’
      • ‘So it's about three passing references in the teacher's notes?’
      • ‘Intrigued by this passing reference I decided to do a little more research into the subject and in this blog I will pass on my findings about these courageous animals.’
      • ‘A passing reference is made to the landowner's illicit, abusive relationship with Nahila's mother and her sisters.’
      • ‘For a while we chatted about operas we had seen, and so on, the occasional passing reference to life outside opera, nothing special, nothing heavy.’
      • ‘The Port Huron Statement made just a passing reference condemning aid to the South Vietnamese dictatorship.’
      • ‘It is only a brief passing reference but it contains a little of the evidence which was given in the Family Court on the interlocutory proceedings.’
      • ‘She thought it was a passing phase but it didn't pass.’
      • ‘News will make only a passing reference (if that) to the bigger picture - and then probably at the end of an item.’
      • ‘Most of the time that will just be a passing phase.’
      • ‘You probably see passing references to the casualties, like daily box scores-just as brief and much more brutal.’
      • ‘So one must ask, is it enough for an opposition party to merely make passing reference to the perceived wrong direction of the government of the day?’
      • ‘He made only a passing reference, though, to weapons of mass destruction.’
      • ‘While everyone knew it was there somewhere in the foothills of life, society, the medical world and the Church seemed to give it no more than a passing glance.’
      • ‘The protesters, who are taking it in turns to sit under an umbrella beside the statue of Winston Churchill, had been attracting no more than a passing glance.’
      • ‘Caught in a passing glance, Mount Athos rises in the distance and Ithaca is depicted as an alien landscape of jagged rocks before an endless horizon.’
      • ‘Guitars stretch and breathe while the bass and drums are left free to wander - typical song writing formula only gets a passing glance.’
      • ‘Though it merits not even a passing reference in tax law, we all pay pain-added tax on just about everything.’
      • ‘I was aghast and horrified at the extent of human stupidity, and chalked it up to a quickly passing fad that would be soon go the way of foot binding.’
      • ‘Hopefully a passing glance would not trigger him to do anything hasty.’
      • ‘He does make two passing references that provide some fresh meat for those more interested in that than his comprehensive strategy for the paper.’
      hasty, rapid, hurried, brief, quick
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  • 3US Meeting or surpassing the requirements of a course or examination.

    ‘a passing grade’
    • ‘I'm sure Mrs. H. would be deeply disappointed in all parties involved and would not issue passing grades but so goes it.’
    • ‘By comparison, co-op work reports for arts students are significantly shorter and do not require a technical review for a passing grade.’
    • ‘He got a passing grade, but only after seducing the 55-year old former heavy metal chick that taught the class.’
    • ‘Well, of course, they simply redefine what constitutes a passing grade, and everything's fine.’
    • ‘As economics, the New Deal deserves a passing grade, but as crisis management it was a huge success.’
    • ‘The team must attend regular training meetings, get passing grades in school and be alcohol and drug-free.’
    • ‘And one of the reasons we gave it today is that at least two of the Fs can be made into passing grades in the course of the next two weeks.’
    • ‘Often curriculum for these courses is tougher than the preparation required for passing entrance examinations.’
    • ‘Their proposal probably would not have received a passing grade in the course I teach on proposal writing.’
    • ‘The overall passing score for the examination is determined by using the mean of the scores from a group of judges.’
    • ‘Now, I have to confess that I'm so pitiful at math that in high school I could barely crack a passing grade in trig.’
    • ‘He calls it his ‘sue the bastards’ class, and students must file a lawsuit to receive a passing grade.’
    • ‘No matter what the grade on the second exam, the grade for the course was a 75-a passing grade at the University of Miami.’
    • ‘He's Harry Potter, and for his fans, until they need a passing grade in that film-study course, that's good enough.’
    • ‘This means that a passing grade can be awarded to someone who learned essentially nothing but tried real hard.’
    • ‘He received what military analysts consider only a passing grade for his time, 56 points out of a 50 point minimum.’
    • ‘When it comes to providing basic affordability, we might very well be ahead of the curve, but we're still barely pulling a passing grade.’
    • ‘His grades at the time of the accident suggest otherwise. He switched courses twice and never achieved passing grades.’
    • ‘I stumbled through the course, got a passing score, and received my license.’
    • ‘By giving a student a passing grade, the teacher is certifying that the student does have some minimal percentage of the terminal repertoire.’


  • 1The passage of something, especially time.

    ‘with the passing of the years she had become a little eccentric’
    • ‘The passing of time has failed to ease the pain for a teenager whose father who was gunned down in a Limerick pub last year.’
    • ‘The passing of time is of little significance in a world where the future is fully known and accounted for in advance.’
    • ‘The passing of time was very much unnoticeable for a man with Jun's mindset.’
    • ‘The passing of time has enshrined Keegan's infamous combustion on live TV as the pivotal moment in the 1995-1996 title race.’
    • ‘The passing of time has made it a blurred image of what it was once.’
    • ‘The passing of time should produce a more balanced appreciation of the heterogeneous and differential impact of the web as a consumer sales channel.’
    • ‘Actually, when you're dead you don't seem to notice the passing of time quite so much; it begins to seem very, very trivial.’
    • ‘The passing of time has not erased old enmities.’
    • ‘I never noticed the passing of time, until the light coming in the window disappeared, and my stomach started growling.’
    • ‘The passing of June 16 this year will not however be greeted with the usual eager anticipation within the area's angling community.’
    • ‘The hope was great before, but it had shrunk with the passing of time, the changing of boy friends.’
    • ‘The passing of this milestone demonstrates the excellent acceptance of the VLT and its instrumentation by the astronomers.’
    passage, course, progress, advance, process, flow
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  • 2The action of throwing, kicking, or hitting a ball or puck to another team member during a sports match.

    ‘his play showed good passing and good control’
    [as modifier] ‘a good passing movement’
  • 3euphemistic A person's death.

    ‘her passing will be felt deeply by many people’
    • ‘The passing of one so young and gifted has hit the Wellington rugby community hard.’
    • ‘The passing of a Pope is always a dramatic moment.’
    • ‘The passing of the greatest in any field is bound to have a big impact, so you can imagine what it was like when the greatest hurling maestro of all time suddenly passed away in his native Cork.’
    • ‘I hope that the New Zealand public will take some notice of the passing of these two people who were men of principle, men we could respect.’
    • ‘The passing of a prominent personality within the mineral community always gives us pause and a time of reflection.’
    • ‘Of those overcome by death and passing to another world, a father cannot hold back his son, nor relatives a relation.’
    • ‘His sudden passing caused deep regret in the local area.’
    • ‘The sad tidings of his sudden passing were received with much regret and neighbours and friends rallied around Patricia and family in their time of grief.’
    • ‘The passing of any significant literary figure is always a sad business; but what to make of the spectacular nature of Green's death?’
    • ‘The passing of people whom you've known all your days and with whom you worked on many occasions, always comes a jolt.’
    • ‘The passing of Her Majesty, the Queen Mother has finally brought the 20th century to an end.’
    • ‘He was a hardworking energetic man who was very much devoted to his family and his sudden passing has caused widespread shock and grief in the community.’
    • ‘But that did not prevent rumours that it was due to her unhappiness about the marriage and speculation that her sudden passing had placed a curse on the union.’
    • ‘The passing of this Elder was another situation altogether.’
    • ‘The passing of a father is always a cause for deep grief.’
    • ‘In her mid-sixties and a frequent visitor to her old home in Parks, her sudden passing is a great loss to her loving family.’
    • ‘The notice recorded the passing of my very first boss.’
    • ‘The passing of Margaret is also a sad event in that so many of those old families are no longer around anymore and a people and period is fast fading from the landscape.’
    • ‘It is with great sorrow and sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our dear son, husband, father, grandfather and brother, Noël.’
    • ‘The passing of so many from the old guard means that in Australia, they really are getting younger.’
    death, demise, passing away, passing on, end, expiry, loss, expiration, decease
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    1. 3.1 The end of something.
      ‘the passing of the Cold War and the rise of a new Europe’
      • ‘Death also symbolises endings, so the passing of relationships, jobs and periods of life are reflected upon.’
      • ‘The passing of the Soviet Union was merely the stripping away of the latest Russian costume.’
      • ‘Even the people at Maverick say they regret the passing of a ‘colourful piece of Calgary's culture.’’
      • ‘So did the global context, especially the passing of cold-war politics.’
      • ‘The passing of the post office was a great loss to the community but let us not forget the rambling houses.’
      • ‘All of which becomes rather puzzling when considering that the spying profession was rendered entirely obsolete with the passing of the Cold War.’
      • ‘One major factor has been India's economic reform process, which began with the passing of the Cold War.’
      • ‘The passing of mass tourism may be a matter of regret to the local business community, but it has allowed the Broads to survive as a natural habitat.’
      • ‘The passing of the Cold War was therefore likely to unveil a new age of power politics, untrammelled by the checks and balances of the Cold War.’
      • ‘Why bother when none would notice the passing of it?’
      • ‘With the passing of the Cold War, humanity's experience of nuclear weapons and their meaning may turn to other regions.’
      • ‘In what ways have you seen the world change - even with the passing of the Cold War?’