Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin passion-, passio suffering, being acted upon, from Latin pati to suffer — more at patient
Date: 13th century
1. often capitalized
a. the sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and his death
b. an oratorio based on a gospel narrative of the Passion
2. obsolete suffering
3. the state or capacity of being acted on by external agents or forces
(1) emotion <his ruling passion is greed> (2) plural the emotions as distinguished from reason b. intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction c. an outbreak of anger 5. a. ardent affection ; love b. a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept c. sexual desire d. an object of desire or deep interest • passionless adjective Synonyms: passion, fervor, ardor, enthusiasm, zeal mean intense emotion compelling action. passion applies to an emotion that is deeply stirring or ungovernable <was a slave to his passions>. fervor implies a warm and steady emotion <read the poem aloud with great fervor>. ardor suggests warm and excited feeling likely to be fitful or short-lived <the ardor of their honeymoon soon faded>. enthusiasm applies to lively or eager interest in or admiration for a proposal, cause, or activity <never showed much enthusiasm for sports>. zeal implies energetic and unflagging pursuit of an aim or devotion to a cause <preaches with fanatical zeal>. Synonym: see in addition feeling.
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.