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pas·sion  audio  (pshn) KEY 

NOUN:
  1. A powerful emotion, such as love, joy, hatred, or anger.
    1. Ardent love.
    2. Strong sexual desire; lust.
    3. The object of such love or desire.
    1. Boundless enthusiasm: His skills as a player don't quite match his passion for the game.
    2. The object of such enthusiasm: Soccer is her passion.
  2. An abandoned display of emotion, especially of anger: He's been known to fly into a passion without warning.
  3. Passion
    1. The sufferings of Jesus in the period following the Last Supper and including the Crucifixion, as related in the New Testament.
    2. A narrative, musical setting, or pictorial representation of Jesus's sufferings.
  4. Archaic Martyrdom.
  5. Archaic Passivity.

ETYMOLOGY:
Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin passi, passin-, sufferings of Jesus or a martyr, from Late Latin, physical suffering, martyrdom, sinful desire, from Latin, an undergoing, from passus, past participle of pat, to suffer; see p(i)- in Indo-European roots

SYNONYMS:
passion, fervor, fire, zeal, ardor

These nouns denote powerful, intense emotion. Passion is a deep, overwhelming emotion: "There is not a passion so strongly rooted in the human heart as envy" (Richard Brinsley Sheridan). The term may signify sexual desire or anger: "He flew into a violent passion and abused me mercilessly" (H.G. Wells). Fervor is great warmth and intensity of feeling: "The union of the mathematician with the poet, fervor with measure, passion with correctness, this surely is the ideal" (William James). Fire is burning passion: "In our youth our hearts were touched with fire" (Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.). Zeal is strong, enthusiastic devotion to a cause, ideal, or goal and tireless diligence in its furtherance: "Laurie [resolved], with a glow of philanthropic zeal, to found and endow an institution for ... women with artistic tendencies" (Louisa May Alcott). Ardor is fiery intensity of feeling: "the furious ardor of my zeal repressed" (Charles Churchill). See also Synonyms at feeling.


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