Pas"sion (?), n. [F., fr. L.
passio, fr. pati, passus, to suffer. See
Patient.] 1. 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. "The passions of this time." Wyclif (Rom.
To whom also he showed himself alive after his
passion, by many infallible proofs. Acts i.
2. The state of being acted upon; subjection
to an external agent or influence; a passive condition; -- opposed to
A body at rest affords us no idea of any active power
to move, and, when set is motion, it is rather a passion than
an action in it. Locke.
3. Capacity of being affected by external
agents; susceptibility of impressions from external agents.
Moldable and not moldable, scissible and not scissible,
and many other passions of matter.
4. 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; as, to be in a
passion; the passions of love, hate, jealously, wrath,
ambition, avarice, fear, etc.; a passion for war, or for drink;
an orator should have passion as well as rhetorical
skill. "A passion fond even to idolatry."
Macaulay. "Her passion is to seek roses." Lady M. W.
We also are men of like passions with
you. Acts xiv. 15.
The nature of the human mind can not be sufficiently
understood, without considering the affections and passions, or
those modifications or actions of the mind consequent upon the
apprehension of certain objects or events in which the mind generally
conceives good or evil. Hutcheson.
The term passion, and its adverb
passionately, often express a very strong predilection for any
pursuit, or object of taste -- a kind of enthusiastic fondness for
The bravery of his grief did put me Shak.
Into a towering passion.
The ruling passion, be it what it will,
The ruling passion conquers reason still.
Who walked in every path of human life, Akenside.
Felt every passion.
When statesmen are ruled by faction and interest, they
can have no passion for the glory of their
5. Disorder of the mind; madness. [Obs.]
6. Passion week. See Passion week,
below. R. of Gl.
Passion flower (Bot.), any flower or
plant of the genus Passiflora; -- so named from a fancied
resemblance of parts of the flower to the instruments of our Savior's
☞ The flowers are showy, and the fruit is sometimes highly
esteemed (see Granadilla, and Maypop). The roots and
leaves are generally more or less noxious, and are used in medicine.
The plants are mostly tendril climbers, and are commonest in the
warmer parts of America, though a few species are Asiatic or
Passion music (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. -- Passion play, a mystery play, in
which the scenes connected with the passion of our Savior are
represented dramatically. -- Passion Sunday
(Eccl.), the fifth Sunday in Lent, or the second before
Easter. -- Passion Week, the last week but
one in Lent, or the second week preceding Easter. "The name of
Passion week is frequently, but improperly, applied to Holy
Syn. -- Passion, Feeling, Emotion.
When any feeling or emotion completely masters the mind,
we call it a passion; as, a passion for music, dress,
etc.; especially is anger (when thus extreme) called passion.
The mind, in such cases, is considered as having lost its self-
control, and become the passive instrument of the feeling in