Words I Love 005 – Passion

Passion, such a powerful word, so loaded with meaning, so many different meanings depending on the context. I love it, so it’s number five in my occasional series ‘Words I Love’. What are yours?

pas·sion  (pshn)


1. A powerful emotion, such as love, joy, hatred, or anger.

a. Ardent love.
b. Strong sexual desire; lust.
c. The object of such love or desire.

a. Boundless enthusiasm: His skills as a player don’t quite match his passion for the game.
b. The object of such enthusiasm: Soccer is her passion.
4. An abandoned display of emotion, especially of anger: He’s been known to fly into a passion without warning.
5. Passion

a. The sufferings of Jesus in the period following the Last Supper and including the Crucifixion, as related in the New Testament.
b. A narrative, musical setting, or pictorial representation of Jesus’s sufferings.
6. Archaic Martyrdom.
7. Archaic Passivity.

[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.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Passion (ˈpæʃən)


1. (Theology) the sufferings of Christ from the Last Supper to his death on the cross
2. (Theology) any of the four Gospel accounts of this
3. (Music, other) a musical setting of this: the St Matthew Passion.
4. (Theology) a musical setting of this: the St Matthew Passion.

passion (ˈpæʃən)


1. ardent love or affection
2. intense sexual love
3. a strong affection or enthusiasm for an object, concept, etc: a passion for poetry.
4. any strongly felt emotion, such as love, hate, envy, etc
5. a state or outburst of extreme anger: he flew into a passion.
6. the object of an intense desire, ardent affection, or enthusiasm
7. an outburst expressing intense emotion: he burst into a passion of sobs.
8. (Philosophy) philosophy

a. any state of the mind in which it is affected by something external, such as perception, desire, etc, as contrasted with action
b. feelings, desires or emotions, as contrasted with reason
9. (Theology) the sufferings and death of a Christian martyr
[C12: via French from Church Latin passiō suffering, from Latin patī to suffer]

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003


About themanofletters

Love poetry, love Marmite, Alright?
This entry was posted in MyDailyBlog, Words I Love and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s