pass (v.)

late 13c., passen (transitive), "to go by (something)," also "to cross over," from Old French passer "to pass" (11c.), from Vulgar Latin *passare "to step, walk, pass" (source also of Spanish pasar, Italian passare), from Latin passus "step, pace" (from PIE root *pete- "to spread").

Intransitive sense of "to go on, to move forward, make one's way" is attested from c. 1300. The figurative sense of "to experience, undergo" (as in pass the time) is recorded from late 14c. Sense of "to go through an examination successfully" is from early 15c. Meaning "decline to do something" is attested from 1869, originally in cards (euchre). In football, hockey, soccer, etc., the meaning "to transfer the ball or puck to another player" is from c. 1865. Related: Passed; passing.

The meaning "to be thought to be something one is not" (especially in a racial sense) is from 1935, from pass oneself off(as), which is attested by 1809. The general verb sense of "to be accepted as equivalent" is from 1590s. Pass up "decline, refuse" is attested from 1896. Pass the buck is from 1865, said to be poker slang reference to the buck horn-handled knife that was passed around to signify whose turn it was to deal. Pass the hat "seek contributions" is from 1762. Pass-fail as a grading method is attested from 1955, American English.

pass (n.1)

"mountain defile," c. 1300, from Old French pas "step, track, passage," from Latin passus "step, pace" (from PIE root *pete- "to spread").

pass (n.2)

"written permission to pass into, or through, a place," 1590s, from pass (v.). Sense of "ticket for a free ride or admission" is by 1838. In cards, "the act of declining to make a bid," by 1923 in bridge. Colloquial make a pass "offer an amorous advance" is recorded by 1928, perhaps from a sporting sense (football, fencing). Phrase come to pass "be carried out or accomplished" (late 15c.) uses the word with a sense of "completion, accomplishment."

updated on February 10, 2020

Definitions of pass from WordNet
pass (v.)
go across or through;
We passed the point where the police car had parked
pass (v.)
move past;
He passed his professor in the hall
A black limousine passed by when she looked out the window
Synonyms: travel by / pass by / surpass / go past / go by
pass (v.)
make laws, bills, etc. or bring into effect by legislation;
They passed the amendment
Synonyms: legislate
pass (v.)
pass by;
Synonyms: elapse / lapse / slip by / glide by / slip away / go by / slide by / go along
pass (v.)
place into the hands or custody of;
Synonyms: hand / reach / pass on / turn over / give
pass (v.)
stretch out over a distance, space, time, or scope; run or extend between two points or beyond a certain point;
Synonyms: run / go / lead / extend
pass (v.)
travel past;
The sports car passed all the trucks
Synonyms: overtake / overhaul
pass (v.)
come to pass;
Synonyms: happen / hap / go on / pass off / occur / fall out / come about / take place
pass (v.)
go unchallenged; be approved;
Synonyms: clear
pass (v.)
use up a period of time in a specific way;
Synonyms: spend
pass (v.)
pass over, across, or through;
Synonyms: guide / run / draw
pass (v.)
transmit information;
pass along the good news
Synonyms: communicate / pass on / pass along / put across
pass (v.)
disappear gradually;
The pain eventually passed off
Synonyms: evanesce / fade / blow over / pass off / fleet
pass (v.)
go successfully through a test or a selection process;
She passed the new Jersey Bar Exam and can practice law now
Synonyms: make it
pass (v.)
be superior or better than some standard;
Synonyms: exceed / transcend / overstep / go past / top
pass (v.)
accept or judge as acceptable;
The teacher passed the student although he was weak
pass (v.)
allow to go without comment or censure;
the insult passed as if unnoticed
pass (v.)
transfer to another; of rights or property;
Our house passed under his official control
pass (v.)
pass into a specified state or condition;
Synonyms: sink / lapse
pass (v.)
throw (a ball) to another player;
Smith passed
pass (v.)
be inherited by;
Synonyms: fall / return / devolve
pass (v.)
cause to pass;
She passed around the plates
Synonyms: make pass
pass (v.)
grant authorization or clearance for;
Synonyms: authorize / authorise / clear
pass (v.)
pass from physical life and lose all bodily attributes and functions necessary to sustain life;
Synonyms: die / decease / perish / go / exit / pass away / expire / kick the bucket / cash in one's chips / buy the farm / conk / give-up the ghost / drop dead / pop off / choke / croak / snuff it
pass (v.)
eliminate from the body;
Synonyms: excrete / egest / eliminate
pass (n.)
(baseball) an advance to first base by a batter who receives four balls;
Synonyms: base on balls / walk
pass (n.)
(military) a written leave of absence;
he had a pass for three days
pass (n.)
(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: passing play / passing game / passing
pass (n.)
the location in a range of mountains of a geological formation that is lower than the surrounding peaks;
we got through the pass before it started to snow
Synonyms: mountain pass / notch
pass (n.)
any authorization to pass or go somewhere;
the pass to visit had a strict time limit
Synonyms: passport
pass (n.)
a document indicating permission to do something without restrictions;
Synonyms: laissez passer
pass (n.)
a flight or run by an aircraft over a target;
the plane turned to make a second pass
pass (n.)
a bad or difficult situation or state of affairs;
Synonyms: strait / straits
pass (n.)
a difficult juncture;
a pretty pass
Synonyms: head / straits
pass (n.)
one complete cycle of operations (as by a computer);
it was not possible to complete the computation in a single pass
pass (n.)
an automatic advance to the next round in a tournament without playing an opponent;
Synonyms: bye
pass (n.)
a permit to enter or leave a military installation;
he had to show his pass in order to get out
Synonyms: liberty chit
pass (n.)
a complimentary ticket;
pass (n.)
a usually brief attempt;
Synonyms: crack / fling / go / whirl / offer
pass (n.)
(sports) the act of throwing the ball to another member of your team;
the pass was fumbled
Synonyms: toss / flip
pass (n.)
success in satisfying a test or requirement;
he got a pass in introductory chemistry
his future depended on his passing that test
Synonyms: passing / qualifying
pass (adj.)
of advancing the ball by throwing it;
a team with a good passing attack
a pass play
Synonyms: passing
From, not affiliated with etymonline.