Meaning of passing in English:


Pronunciation /ˈpɑːsɪŋ/

See synonyms for passing

Translate passing into Spanish


  • 1Going past.

    ‘passing cars’
    • ‘Luckily a passing police car stopped and helped.’
    • ‘Demonstrators burned tyres and hurled stones at passing police cars.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Outside Mrs Roughley, who had been joined outside by some regulars, flagged down a passing police car.’
    • ‘He tailed her for some time before a passing police car scared him off.’
    • ‘The doorman flagged down a passing police car and pointed officers in the direction of Wicker Hill.’
    • ‘A passing police car was alerted to the incident and arrested the teenager in minutes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Eventually she managed to flag down a passing car which took her to the Tyrls police station in the city centre.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We walked across the bridge, admiring its construction, the passing cars and the East River perilously close.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Pick your stuff up and run to the car, preferably on the passenger's side, putting the car between you and passing traffic.’
  • 2(of a period of time) going by.

    ‘she detested him more with every passing second’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘It's been over a week and every passing day is now critical,’ Bellamy said.’
    • ‘My drinks shelf used to live; the ebb and flow in the bottles pulsating with the passing days.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘With every passing year, the number of journalists voting increased.’
    • ‘The passing summer days are pleasant for the newly married Clym and Eustacia.’
    • ‘He wasn't really bad looking but the passing years of seven decades definitely changed him.’
    • ‘I suspect it was the latter, because more and more people left with each passing inning.’
    • ‘The numbers are decreasing with every passing year, their writing and painting are gradually fading out, their pages have become fragile and brittle.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They lost comrades-in-arms by the score during the four-year-conflict and the number of survivors has dwindled with every passing anniversary.’
    • ‘His stroppy attention-seeking reaches new levels with each passing day, as do his half-hearted demands to leave Celebrity Big Brother.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The centrepiece of attraction is that the calendar tells a heart warming story with each passing month of the current year.’
    • ‘The number of titles available gradually rises with each passing semester.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘So with the passing years some religions died while others gained in strength.’
    • ‘But as the new season moved closer, the stakes were raised with every passing day.’
    1. 2.1Carried out quickly and lightly.
      ‘a passing glance’
      • ‘You probably see passing references to the casualties, like daily box scores-just as brief and much more brutal.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Port Huron Statement made just a passing reference condemning aid to the South Vietnamese dictatorship.’
      • ‘A passing reference is made to the landowner's illicit, abusive relationship with Nahila's mother and her sisters.’
      • ‘Guitars stretch and breathe while the bass and drums are left free to wander - typical song writing formula only gets a passing glance.’
      • ‘News will make only a passing reference (if that) to the bigger picture - and then probably at the end of an item.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So it's about three passing references in the teacher's notes?’
      • ‘He made only a passing reference, though, to weapons of mass destruction.’
      • ‘Most of the time that will just be a passing phase.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Though it merits not even a passing reference in tax law, we all pay pain-added tax on just about everything.’
      • ‘She thought it was a passing phase but it didn't pass.’
      hasty, rapid, hurried, brief, quick
      View synonyms
  • 3(of a resemblance or similarity) slight.

    ‘The hotel is a terracotta-coloured delightful Belle Epoch creation, which has more than a passing resemblance to the Carlton in Cannes, just along the coast.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, it's pleasing to note the passing similarity of the resulting image with the angular Vorticist art that I was looking at only thirty minutes later.’
    • ‘And yes, with the carefully-coiffured blond hair, tan and surfer's smile, he does bear a passing resemblance to the actor.’
    • ‘In her eyes The Outline bore more than a passing resemblance to ‘The Web of the World's Romance ’, her unpublished history of the world.’
    • ‘This article is interesting, not least because several people have commented that there is more than a passing resemblance between myself and Hels's brother.’
    • ‘Obviously I'm white but my current prosthesis - and the one now being made for me - bears only a passing resemblance to my actual skin colour.’
    • ‘Bizarrely, David cannot say too much about it, because he is bound by a confidentiality clause which bears a passing resemblance to War And Peace.’
    • ‘Lex is one of three remaining contestants in a reality TV show called Eye Spy, which bears more than a passing resemblance to Big Brother.’
    • ‘For three years, he has been developing Arnold, a three-wheeled robot which is the size of a small dog, and has a passing resemblance to one too.’
    • ‘The first thing you may notice is that Belfast looks very similar to Glasgow - and it also has more than a passing resemblance to Liverpool.’
    • ‘When the teams formally slip on to the rink the Eagles are greeted like returning legionaries, to whom they bear more than a passing resemblance.’
    • ‘It's not just a passing resemblance, either - people really think I am him.’
    • ‘The event itself was staged in a bullring that gave more than a passing resemblance to the alien mother ship at the end of Close Encounters.’
    • ‘What he describes in this tight, staccato prose is a story which bears more than a passing resemblance to The Dirty Dozen.’
    • ‘His heroes tend to bear more than a passing resemblance to himself.’
    • ‘In fact, it bears more than a passing resemblance to CD1 of her Greatest Hits.’
    • ‘He even hitches up his shirt sleeve before every shot in a routine that bears more than a passing resemblance to that of Woods.’
    • ‘The young man did bear a passing resemblance to the heir to the throne.’
    • ‘He bears more than a passing resemblance to a man at a gig a couple of weeks ago.’
    • ‘Rule changes have altered amateur boxing so much that to pugilists the sport now bears only a passing resemblance to its professional cousin.’
    cursory, perfunctory, casual, sketchy, desultory, unconsidered, token, slapdash, slipshod, offhand, inadequate, imperfect, slight
    View synonyms


mass noun
  • 1The passage of something, especially time.

    ‘with the passing of the years she had become a little eccentric’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I never noticed the passing of time, until the light coming in the window disappeared, and my stomach started growling.’
    • ‘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 not erased old enmities.’
    • ‘The passing of time should produce a more balanced appreciation of the heterogeneous and differential impact of the web as a consumer sales channel.’
    • ‘The passing of time has made it a blurred image of what it was once.’
    • ‘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 hope was great before, but it had shrunk with the passing of time, the changing of boy friends.’
    • ‘The passing of June 16 this year will not however be greeted with the usual eager anticipation within the area's angling community.’
    • ‘The passing of this milestone demonstrates the excellent acceptance of the VLT and its instrumentation by the astronomers.’
    • ‘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.’
    passage, course, progress, advance, process, flow
    View synonyms
  • 2(in sport) the action of passing a ball to another team member.

    ‘his play showed good passing and control’
    • ‘Instant ball control and accurate passing in tight spaces, rather than any brute force, are the compulsory requirements for a futsal player.’
    • ‘This motivated team produced excellent early passing and control for a short corner mid-way into the half.’
    • ‘They were strong on the ball, and their passing and movement was top notch.’
    • ‘The passing from both teams is slick enough, but nobody's creating any chances.’
    • ‘Airdrie controlled this match with great passing and ball control, but couldn't find the net.’
    • ‘The Argentinian has scored twice in his six games for United so far, but it's his pinpoint passing and instant control of the ball that have really caught the eye.’
    • ‘The team doesn't have a player who can create his own shot, so it relies on movement and passing to create open looks.’
    • ‘He keeps it simple, his movement and passing are excellent, and physically he is as fit as anybody.’
    • ‘For 20 minutes the desired effect was movement and passing and control from United.’
    • ‘His rebounding and outlet passing should fuel the Rockets' fast break.’
    • ‘Both teams stressed team play and passing to the open man.’
    • ‘Both sides should take credit for a competitive and high tempo game with plenty of good passing and movement on a surface freshened by light rain.’
    • ‘Superior passing and movement allied to a couple of home decisions from the referee meant that England lost control in the first half.’
    • ‘Their passing and movement was excellent and Walsh added to his tally on ten minutes following an flowing move through midfield.’
    • ‘Yes, their passing and movement was exceptional and we were getting tired just trying to keep up with them.’
    • ‘The pace is too slow, we need a higher tempo, to be slicker and quicker with our passing and movement.’
    • ‘Netball, which she played at county level, is perhaps the most obvious, being a more pedestrian form of rugby with its quick passing, catching and ball movement.’
    • ‘While they wisely stuck to their game plan of short passing and quick movement, the Hoops reverted to hopeful long balls and aimless passes into space.’
    • ‘Handball is all about high speed and precise, quick passing - one of the more high octane sports at the Olympics.’
    • ‘It was a game which exuded excellent, fast play with good passing, finishing and sporting behaviour.’
  • 3The end of something.

    ‘the passing of the Cold War’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘So did the global context, especially the passing of cold-war politics.’
    • ‘Death also symbolises endings, so the passing of relationships, jobs and periods of life are reflected upon.’
    • ‘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 post office was a great loss to the community but let us not forget the rambling houses.’
    • ‘Why bother when none would notice the passing of it?’
    • ‘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.’’
    1. 3.1 euphemistic A person's death.
      ‘her passing will be felt deeply by many people’
      • ‘Of those overcome by death and passing to another world, a father cannot hold back his son, nor relatives a relation.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is with great sorrow and sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our dear son, husband, father, grandfather and brother, Noël.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His sudden passing caused deep regret in the local area.’
      • ‘The notice recorded the passing of my very first boss.’
      • ‘The passing of any significant literary figure is always a sad business; but what to make of the spectacular nature of Green's death?’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘The passing of a father is always a cause for deep grief.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The passing of so many from the old guard means that in Australia, they really are getting younger.’
      • ‘The passing of Her Majesty, the Queen Mother has finally brought the 20th century to an end.’
      • ‘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 people whom you've known all your days and with whom you worked on many occasions, always comes a jolt.’
      • ‘The passing of this Elder was another situation altogether.’
      • ‘The passing of a prominent personality within the mineral community always gives us pause and a time of reflection.’
      death, demise, passing away, passing on, end, expiry, loss, expiration, decease
      View synonyms


    in passing
    • Briefly and casually.

      ‘the research was mentioned only in passing’
      • ‘Sister Briodie mentioned, almost in passing, that I will need front-opening pyjamas.’
      • ‘I mentioned that in passing at the time and it elicited a stream of foul-mouthed, intemperate abuse from him.’
      • ‘It was mentioned in passing that computers used binary, and programmers would often use octal.’
      • ‘A couple of months back, I mentioned this blog in passing to someone I know.’
      • ‘I mentioned in passing that this was no great tragedy for me, as indeed it wasn't, but that was all.’
      • ‘Mention in passing that your beauty salon is really near the office.’
      • ‘There was talk of his daughter who was a friend of the abused girl I referred to just now, but she was only mentioned in passing.’
      • ‘My birthday seemed to be the perfect excuse and I mentioned it in passing to my husband who, in turn, booked a table.’
      • ‘The energy crisis, so crucial to the whole mess, is really mentioned only in passing.’
      • ‘While the novel makes some room for the landowners the film mentions them only in passing.’
      • ‘Last week I mentioned in passing that I find shaving to be terribly boring, and a real waste of time.’
      • ‘So when you phone, you might want to mention in passing that you are also considering a couple of their rivals.’
      • ‘All were mentioned in passing, but the hottest topic of all was what was happening off the pitch.’
      • ‘I mentioned it in passing to someone the following day and thought nothing more of it.’
      • ‘You make mention in passing of nuclear power, but doesn't the logic of your argument mean you should be a strong supporter of it?’
      • ‘Apparently it was mentioned in passing the other night, and the pentagon is being very close-lipped about it.’
      • ‘She was sorry that she had even even alerted me to his existence by mentioning him in passing.’
      • ‘I said that I was going to mention another Act to your Honours and I mention it only in passing.’
      • ‘Now they mention it in passing and go on to other security issues.’
      • ‘Morris dancers are only mentioned in passing in the text, in the section on calendar customs, and costume not at all.’