Passion \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. viii.
To whom also he showed himself alive after his
passion, by many infallible proofs. --Acts i. 3.
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 in 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. [R.]
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. Montagu.
We also are men of like passions with you. --Acts
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 anything. --Cogan.
The bravery of his grief did put me
Into a towering passion. --Shak.
The ruling passion, be it what it will,
The ruling passion conquers reason still. --Pope.
Who walked in every path of human life,
Felt every passion. --Akenside.
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.] --Shak.
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 the crucifixion
Note: 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
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 Week."
Usage: 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 question.