Something that's passing happens very quickly. If you give someone a passing glance, you look so briefly in their direction that you barely see them.

Passing is one of those versatile words with many different uses. A passing reference is a light, brief mention of something, and a passing grade is one that's high enough for you to pass a test. As a noun, passing often means "the end of something," like the passing of an era — while the passing of a person means death. When you talk about something "in passing," you mention it in a casual way.

Definitions of passing
  1. adjective
    lasting a very short time
    “a passing fancy”
    synonyms: ephemeral, fugacious, short-lived, transient, transitory
    impermanent, temporary
    not permanent; not lasting
  2. adjective
    hasty and without attention to detail; not thorough
    “a passing glance”
    synonyms: casual, cursory, perfunctory
    marked by lack of attention or consideration or forethought or thoroughness; not careful
  3. noun
    the end of something
    “the passing of winter”
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    type of:
    end, final stage, last
    the concluding parts of an event or occurrence
  4. noun
    euphemistic expressions for death
    “thousands mourned his passing
    synonyms: departure, exit, expiration, going, loss, release
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    type of:
    death, decease, demise, expiry
    the event of dying or departure from life
  5. noun
    (American football) a play that involves one player throwing the ball to a teammate
    “the coach sent in a passing play on third and long”
    synonyms: pass, passing game, passing play
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    show 5 types...
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    aerial, forward pass
    a pass to a receiver downfield from the passer
    lateral, lateral pass
    a pass to a receiver upfield from the passer
    spot pass
    a pass to a designated spot on the field; the receiver should arrive at that spot the same time the ball does
    flare, flare pass
    a short forward pass to a back who is running toward the sidelines
    screen pass
    a short forward pass in which the receiver is protected by a screen of blockers
    type of:
    football play
    (American football) a play by the offensive team
  6. adjective
    of advancing the ball by throwing it
    “a team with a good passing attack”
    synonyms: pass
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    of advancing the ball by running
  7. noun
    success in satisfying a test or requirement
    synonyms: pass, qualifying
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    failing, flunk
    failure to reach a minimum required performance
    type of:
    an attainment that is successful
  8. adjective
    allowing you to pass (e.g., an examination or inspection) satisfactorily
    “a passing grade”
    giving satisfaction
  9. noun
    the motion of one object relative to another
    “stellar passings can perturb the orbits of comets”
    synonyms: passage
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    type of:
    motion, movement
    a natural event that involves a change in the position or location of something
  10. noun
    going by something that is moving in order to get in front of it
    “she drove but well but her reckless passing of every car on the road frightened me”
    synonyms: overtaking
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    type of:
    a rearrangement in a different order
  11. noun
    a bodily reaction of changing from one place or stage to another
    synonyms: passage
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    type of:
    reaction, response
    a bodily process occurring due to the effect of some antecedent stimulus or agent
  12. adverb
    to an extreme degree
Word Family

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