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pass - definition and synonyms


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verb pass pronunciation in British English /pɑːs/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlepassing
past tensepassed
past participlepassed
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  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to go past something

    They stopped at the crossing, waiting for the train to pass.

    We sometimes pass each other in the street.

    1. a.
      mainly American to overtake another vehicle that is travelling in the same direction
  2. 2
    [intransitive] to move in a particular direction or to a particular place or position
    pass through/along/over etc:

    We passed through the gates of the old city.

    Two large birds passed over our heads.

    The signal passes through a device called a router.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to move something in a particular direction or to a particular place or position
      pass around/across/through etc:

      He passed his hand across his forehead.

      They managed to pass a message under the doorway.

    2. b.
      [intransitive] if a road, river, or stream passes through, across etc a place, its path follows that direction

      The railway line passes through Darlington, Newcastle, and Berwick.

  3. 3
    [intransitive/transitive] to be successful in an examination or test by achieving a satisfactory standard

    Did you pass?

    He’ll be in the team if he passes the fitness test today.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to officially judge that someone has been successful in an examination or test because they have achieved a satisfactory standard

      The examiners passed only 40% of the candidates.

  4. 4
    [transitive] to put something into someone’s hand or into a position where they can take it

    Pass the salt, please.

    pass someone something:

    Could you pass me that newspaper?

    pass something to someone:

    He passed the camera to her so she could take a photograph.

    1. b.
      to give someone false money as payment for something
  5. 5
    [transitive] to make a law, proposal etc become official, usually by voting to accept it

    This is one of the worst laws ever passed.

    1. a.
      [intransitive/transitive] if a law, proposal etc passes, or passes a particular law-making body, it becomes official as the result of a vote
  6. 6
    [intransitive] if time or a period of time passes, it happens and comes to an end

    Time passes slowly when you’re waiting for something.

    with every day that passes/with every passing day:

    She grew less hopeful with every passing day.

    hardly/not a day passes without:

    Hardly a day passed without a journalist calling or knocking at our door.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to spend time doing something

      We passed the day swimming and lying in the sun.

  7. 7
    [intransitive] to come to an end

    Children can be very difficult at this age. Don’t worry – it’ll soon pass.

    I felt a sharp pain, but it soon passed.

  8. 8
    [intransitive/transitive] to kick, hit, or throw the ball to another player in a sports team
  9. 9
    [intransitive] if words or looks pass between people, they speak to each other or look at each other in a particular way

    No one really knows what passed between them that day.

  10. 11
    [transitive] to become more than a particular amount

    The death toll has already passed 200.

    The three production sites will pass the 100,000 mark this quarter.

  11. 12
    [intransitive] to happen, or to be allowed to happen
    pass without comment (=without someone saying something about it):

    This innocent remark did not, however, pass without comment.

    pass unnoticed:

    Her mistake seemed to have passed unnoticed.

  12. 13
    [transitive] to make a comment or give an opinion, especially in order to criticize someone or something
    pass (a) comment (on/about):

    He was asked for his opinion but refused to pass comment.

  13. 14
    [transitive] formal to make something leave your body as a waste product or in a waste product

    I think he’s passing blood in his urine.

  14. 15
    [intransitive] to stop being owned or controlled by one person and start being owned or controlled by another
    pass to:

    Under the will, ownership of the business will pass to my daughter.

    pass from someone to someone:

    The estate has passed from father to son for generations.

  15. 16
    [intransitive] to change from one state to another
    pass from something to something:

    At this temperature, the mixture passes from a solid to a liquid state.

  16. 17
    [intransitive] to not play a card or not make a bid in a card game


used to describe something which is done more carefully and over a longer period of time …

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the practice of giving birth in the presence of several friends and relatives

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