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English Wikipedia has an article on:


From pass +‎ -ing.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈpɑːsɪŋ/
  • (file)
  • (file)



  1. present participle of pass



passing (comparative more passing, superlative most passing)

  1. That passes away; ephemeral. [from 14th c.]
    • 1814, Lord Byron, Lara, I.15:
      And solace sought he none from priest nor leech, / And soon the same in movement and in speech / As heretofore he fill'd the passing hours []
    • 2010, Marianne Kirby, The Guardian, 21 Sep 2010:
      It might be possible to dismiss #dittowatch as just another passing internet fancy. After all, hashtags are ephemeral.
  2. (now rare, literary) Pre-eminent, excellent, extreme. [from 14th c.]
    • Shakespeare
      her passing deformity
    • 1835, Washington Irving, The Crayon Miscellany:
      It was by dint of passing strength, / That he moved the massy stone at length.
    • 1847, Robert Holmes, The Case of Ireland Stated:
      That parliament was destined, in one short hour of convulsive strength, in one short hour of passing glory, to humble the pride and alarm the fears of England.
  3. Vague, cursory. [from 18th c.]
    • 2011, Stewart J Lawrence, The Guardian, 14 Jun 2011:
      Ardent pro-lifer Rick Santorum made one passing reference to "authenticity" as a litmus test for a conservative candidate, but if he was obliquely referring to Romney (and he was), you could be excused for missing the dig.
  4. Going past.
    passing cars



passing (not comparable)

  1. (now literary or archaic) Surpassingly, greatly. [from 14th c.]
    • 1813, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab, I:
      One, pale as yonder waning moon, / With lips of lurid blue; / The other, rosy as the morn / When throned on ocean's wave, / It blushes o'er the world: / Yet both so passing wonderful!
    • 2010, Simon Hattenstone, The Guardian, 30 Oct 2010:
      ‘I find it passing strange that convicts understand honest folk, but honest folk don't understand convicts.’

Usage notesEdit

  • This use is sometimes misconstrued as meaning "vaguely" or "slightly" (perhaps by confusion with such phrases as "passing fancy", under Adjective, above), leading to formations such as "more than passing clever" etc.



passing (countable and uncountable, plural passings)

  1. Death, dying; the end of something. [from 14th c.]
  2. The fact of going past; a movement from one place to another or a change from one state to another. [from 14th c.]
    • Oliver Onions, The Story of Louie
      And since he did not see Louie by the folding door, Louie knew that in his former passings and repassings he could not have seen her either.
  3. (law) The act of approving a bill etc. [from 15th c.]
  4. (sports) The act of passing a ball etc. to another player. [from 19th c.]
  5. A form of juggling where several people pass props between each other, usually clubs or rings.
  6. (sociology) The ability of a person to be regarded as a member of an identity group or category different from their own.



French Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia fr


From English passing.



passing m (uncountable)

  1. (juggling) passing
    • Le passing, ou comment jongler à plusieurs. (

Further readingEdit