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Webster 1913 Edition


Passable

Pass′a-ble

,
Adj.
[Cf. F.
passable
.]
1.
Capable of being passed, traveled, navigated, traversed, penetrated, or the like;
as, the roads are not
passable
; the stream is
passable
in boats.
His body’s a
passable
carcass if it be not hurt; it is a throughfare for steel.
Shakespeare
2.
Capable of being freely circulated or disseminated; acceptable; generally receivable; current.
With men as with false money – one piece is more or less
passable
than another.
L'Estrange.
Could they have made this slander
passable
.
Collier.
My version will appear a
passable
beauty when the original muse is absent.
Dryden.

Webster 1828 Edition


Passable

P`ASSABLE

,
Adj.
That may be passed, traveled or navigated. The roads are not passable. The stream is passable in boats.
1.
That may be penetrated; as a substance passable by a fluid.
2.
Current; receivable; that may be or is transferred from hand to hand; as bills passable in lieu of coin. False coin is not passable.
3.
Popular; well received.
4.
Supportable. [This should be passible.]

Definition 2022


passable

passable

English

Adjective

passable (comparative more passable, superlative most passable)

  1. That may be passed or traversed.
  2. Tolerable; satisfactory; adequate.
    • 2013 August 3, The machine of a new soul”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8847:
      The yawning gap in neuroscientists’ understanding of their topic is in the intermediate scale of the brain’s anatomy. Science has a passable knowledge of how individual nerve cells, known as neurons, work. It also knows which visible lobes and ganglia of the brain do what. But how the neurons are organised in these lobes and ganglia remains obscure.
  3. (sociology) Able to "pass", or be accepted as a member of a race, sex or other group to which society would not otherwise regard one as belonging.
    • 2014, Paul Stryker, Confessions of a Sex Offender (page 33)
      The idea of something, or someone, being unusual and sexual is intoxicating. I concluded that if I ever met a very passable transsexual and we were attracted to one another, I'd go bisexual and pursue the relationship.

Translations

Derived terms


French

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /pa.sabl/

Adjective

passable m, f (plural passables)

  1. Passable; tolerable; fair.