Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

pass on - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theypass on
he/she/itpasses on
present participlepassing on
past tensepassed on
past participlepassed on
  1. 1
    [transitive] to give someone something that someone else has given you

    When you’ve read this message, please pass it on.

    pass something on to someone:

    I’ll pass these clothes on to my nephew when my lads have outgrown them.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to give someone an infectious illness

    I took the day off work because I didn’t want to pass on my flu to everyone in the office.

    1. a.
      to give something such as a disease to your children through your genes

      Women can’t get this condition although they can pass it on.

  3. 3
    [transitive] to make someone who is buying something from you pay for the cost of something
    pass something on to someone:

    The retailer is forced to pass these extra costs on to the customer.

  4. 4
    [transitive] to arrange for a customer to speak to someone else who can give them the information or service that they have asked you for, because you cannot provide it for them
    pass someone on to someone:

    I’ll pass you on to our claims department.

  5. 5
    [intransitive] same as pass
See also main entry: pass
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play