Definition of en passant in English:

en passant

Pronunciation /ɒ̃ paˈsɑːnt/ /ɒ̃ ˈpasɒ̃/


  • 1By the way; incidentally.

    ‘the singular distinction of being mentioned, en passant, in an Act of Parliament’
    • ‘Almost en passant, the album redefined the job and the self-image of the DJ.’
    in passing, incidentally, by the way, parenthetically, while on the subject, apropos
    View synonyms
  • 2Chess
    By the en passant rule.

    ‘Only pawns can be captured en passant.’
    ‘If White plays another move he cannot then decide to capture en passant!’


    en passant rule (or law)
    • The rule that a pawn making a first move of two squares instead of one may nevertheless be immediately captured by an opposing pawn on the fifth rank.

      ‘Although you may play a hundred games, and never have to use the En Passant rule, you should know it if your opponent uses it.’
      ‘This en passant rule must happen on the current move of the game.’


Early 17th century French, literally ‘in passing’.


en passant

/ɒ̃ paˈsɑːnt/ /ɒ̃ ˈpasɒ̃/