from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Strong or powerful emotion.
  • noun A powerful emotion, such as anger or joy.
  • noun A state of strong sexual desire or love.
  • noun The object of such desire or love.
  • noun Boundless enthusiasm.
  • noun The object of such enthusiasm.
  • noun An abandoned display of emotion, especially of anger.
  • noun The sufferings of Jesus in the period following the Last Supper and including the Crucifixion, as related in the New Testament.
  • noun A narrative, musical setting, or pictorial representation of Jesus's sufferings.
  • noun Martyrdom.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To be affected with passion; be extremely agitated, especially with grief; sorrow.
  • To give a passionate character to; imbue with passion; impassionate.
  • noun In religious art, a representation of the passion of Christ: as, the greater and lesser passions of Albrecht Dürer.
  • noun The state of being affected or acted on by something external; a passive as opposed to an active state.
  • noun Susceptibility of impression from external agents; receptivity to impressions.
  • noun Suffering; especially, the sufferings of Christ on the cross; more specifically, his sufferings subsequent to the Last Supper, sometimes distinguished from those of the crucifixion: as, “by thy Cross and Passion,” Book of Common Prayer.
  • noun Physical disorder, or suffering resulting from it; disease.
  • noun Emotion; specifically, intense or vehement emotion, occupying the mind in great part for a considerable period, and commanding the most serious action of the intelligence; an abounding or controlling emotion, such as ambition. avarice, revenge, desire, fear, hope, joy, grief, love, hatred, etc.; a strong deep feeling.
  • noun Zeal; ardor; vehement or ruling desire.
  • noun Love; ardent affection; amorous desire.
  • noun Grief; sorrow.
  • noun Vehement anger; rage: sometimes used absolutely: as, in a passion.
  • noun An object of great admiration or desire; something indulged in, pursued, or cultivated with extreme and serious ardor: as, poetry became a passion with him.
  • noun A passionate display; an exhibition of deep feeling.
  • noun Same as passion-music.
  • noun Synonyms Passion, Affection; wrath, fury; fervor; rapture, transport. As compared with affection, the distinctive mark of passion is that it masters the mind, so that the person becomes seemingly its subject or its passive instrument, while an affection, though moving, affecting, or influencing one, still leaves him his self-control. The secondary meanings of the two words keep this difference.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb rare To give a passionate character to.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To suffer pain or sorrow; to experience a passion; to be extremely agitated.
  • noun A suffering or enduring of imposed or inflicted pain; any suffering or distress (as, a cardiac passion); specifically, the suffering of Christ between the time of the last supper and his death, esp. in the garden upon the cross.
  • noun The state of being acted upon; subjection to an external agent or influence; a passive condition; -- opposed to action.
  • noun rare Capacity of being affected by external agents; susceptibility of impressions from external agents.
  • noun The state of the mind when it is powerfully acted upon and influenced by something external to itself; the state of any particular faculty which, under such conditions, becomes extremely sensitive or uncontrollably excited; any emotion or sentiment (specifically, love or anger) in a state of abnormal or controlling activity; an extreme or inordinate desire; also, the capacity or susceptibility of being so affected
  • noun obsolete Disorder of the mind; madness.
  • noun Passion week. See Passion week, below.
  • noun (Bot.) any flower or plant of the genus Passiflora; -- so named from a fancied resemblance of parts of the flower to the instruments of the crucifixion of Christ.
  • noun (Mus.) originally, music set to the gospel narrative of the passion of our Lord; after the Reformation, a kind of oratorio, with narrative, chorals, airs, and choruses, having for its theme the passion and crucifixion of Christ.
  • noun a mystery play, in which the scenes connected with the passion of our Savior are represented dramatically.
  • noun (Eccl.) the fifth Sunday in Lent, or the second before Easter.
  • noun the last week but one in Lent, or the second week preceding Easter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any great, strong, powerful emotion, especially romantic love or hate.
  • noun Fervor, determination.
  • noun An object of passionate or romantic love or strong romantic interest.
  • noun sexual intercourse, especially when very emotional
  • noun Christianity The suffering of Jesus leading up to and during his crucifixion.
  • noun A play, musical composition or display meant to commemorate the suffering of Jesus.
  • noun obsolete An innate quality, property, or attribute of a thing.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin passiō, passiōn-, sufferings of Jesus or a martyr, from Late Latin, physical suffering, martyrdom, sinful desire, from Latin, an undergoing, from passus, past participle of patī, to suffer; see pē(i)- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Via French, from Latin passio ("suffering"), noun of action from perfect passive participle passus ("suffered"), from deponent verb pati ("suffer").


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