American English

Definition of pass verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they pass
    he / she / it passes
    past simple passed
    -ing form passing
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to move past or to the other side of someone or something Several people were passing but nobody offered to help. I hailed a passing taxi. The road was so narrow that cars were unable to pass. pass somebody/something to pass a barrier/sentry/checkpoint You'll pass a bank on the way to the train station. She passed me in the street without even saying hello. There was a truck behind that was trying to pass me.
  2. 2[intransitive] + adv./prep. to go or move in the direction mentioned The procession passed slowly along the street. A plane passed low overhead.
  3. 3[transitive] pass something + adv./prep. to make something move in the direction or into the position mentioned He passed the rope around the post three times to secure it. She passed her hand across her forehead.
  4. give
  5. 4[transitive] to give something to someone by putting it into their hands or in a place where they can easily reach it pass something (to somebody) Pass the salt, please. Pass that book over. pass somebody something Pass me over that book.
  6. ball
  7. 5[transitive, intransitive] (in ball games) to kick, hit, or throw the ball to a player of your own side pass something (to somebody) He passed the ball to Reggie Miller. pass (to somebody) Why do they keep passing back to the goalie?
  8. after death
  9. 6[intransitive] pass to somebody to be given to another person after first belonging to someone else, especially after the first person has died On his death, the estate passed to his eldest son.
  10. become greater
  11. 7[transitive] pass something (of an amount) to become greater than a particular total synonym exceed Unemployment has now passed the three million mark.
  12. change
  13. 8[intransitive] pass from something to/into something to change from one state or condition to another She had passed from childhood to early womanhood.
  14. time
  15. 9[intransitive] when time passes, it goes by Six months passed and we still had no news from them. We grew more anxious with every passing day.
  16. 10[transitive] pass something to spend time, especially when you are bored or waiting for something We sang songs to pass the time. How did you pass the evening?
  17. end
  18. 11[intransitive] to come to an end; to be over They waited for the storm to pass.
  19. test/exam
  20. 12[intransitive, transitive] to achieve the required standard in an exam, a test, etc. I'm not really expecting to pass first time. pass something She hasn't passed her driving test yet. opposite fail
  21. 13[transitive] pass somebody to test someone and decide that they are good enough, according to an agreed standard The examiners passed all the candidates. opposite fail
  22. law/proposal
  23. 14[transitive] pass something to accept a proposal, law, etc. by voting The bill was passed by 285 votes to 150.
  24. happen
  25. 15[intransitive] to be allowed I don't like it, but I'll let it pass (= will not object). Her remarks passed without comment (= people ignored them).
  26. 16[intransitive] to happen; to be said or done pass (between A and B) They'll never be friends again after all that has passed between them. + adj. His departure passed unnoticed.
  27. not know
  28. 17[intransitive] pass (on something) to say that you do not know the answer to a question, especially during a quiz “What's the capital of Peru?” “I'll have to pass on that one.” “Who wrote 'Catch-22'?” “Pass (= I don't know).”
  29. not want
  30. 18[intransitive] pass (on something) to say that you do not want something that is offered to you Thanks. I'm going to pass on dessert, if you don't mind.
  31. say/state something
  32. 19[transitive] pass something (on somebody/something) to say or state something, especially officially The court waited in silence for the judge to pass sentence. It's not for me to pass judgment on your behavior. The man smiled at the girl and passed a friendly remark.
  33. belief/understanding
  34. 20[transitive] pass belief, understanding, etc. (formal) to go beyond the limits of what you can believe, understand, etc. It passes belief (= is impossible to believe) that she could do such a thing.
  35. in card games
  36. 21[intransitive] to refuse to play a card or make a bid 1when it is your turn
  37. from the body
  38. 22[transitive] pass something to send something out from the body as or with waste matter If you're passing blood, you ought to see a doctor.
  39. Idioms
    come to pass (old use)
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    to happen
      not pass your lips
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    1. 1if words do not pass your lips, you say nothing
    2. 2if food or drink does not pass your lips, you eat or drink nothing
    pass the hat around (informal)
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    to collect money from a number of people, for example to buy a present for someone
    pass muster
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    to be accepted as of a good enough standard
    pass the time of day (with somebody)
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    to say hello to someone and have a short conversation with them
    pass water (formal)
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    to urinate
    Phrasal Verbspass somethingaroundpass as somebody/somethingpass awaypass by (somebody/something)pass somebody/something bypass somethingdownpass for/as somebody/somethingpass into somethingpass somebody/yourself/something off as somebody/somethingpass onpass somethingon (to somebody)pass outpass somebodyoverpass over somethingpass through…pass somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: pass