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1. 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
2. the sufferings and death of a Christian martyr


1. the sufferings of Christ from the Last Supper to his death on the cross
2. any of the four Gospel accounts of this
3. a musical setting of this



a musical work set to a Gospel text of Jesus’ betrayal by Judas, imprisonment, and execution. Passions were introduced into Catholic practice in the fourth century and were performed during Holy Week. They were originally performed in a psalmodic manner, but, beginning in the 14th century, the type of passion based on a dialogue between a soloist, or deacon, and a choir prevailed. The roles of the characters in the drama gradually became more soloistic. In the 16th century the polyphonic motet passion took shape, and Protestant passions in German appeared, which made considerable use of the Protestant chorale. Folk stagings of passions, in which scenes of everyday life were included, developed simultaneously with the ecclesiastical dramatizations.

In the early 18th century the oratorio passion became established. This genre later lost its religious significance, and oratorio passions were performed as concert works. Outstanding examples of the oratorio passion are J. S. Bach’s St. John Passion and St. Matthew Passion.


Druskin, M. Passiony I. S. Bakha. Leningrad, 1972.
References in periodicals archive ?
Eriksson also defended his decision to play Johnson on the right in a passionless second half.
The story opens when the legendary beauty is a marriageable 12-year-old, with suitors already clamoring for her hand, and relates her subsequent kidnapping by Theseus of Athens, then her passionless arranged marriage to Menelaus, which results in the birth of a daughter.
Spent and busy parents expect me, their college consultant, to nag, drag and, if necessary, carry their reluctant, exhausted, and often passionless kids toward the finish line and a "top-tier" college.
The film is surprisingly passionless and the ending is false, even trite.
Since she has no romantic feelings for him, however, he resorts to passionless sex with other women, including the mother of his student.
She takes readers through the ups and downs of the two friends' lives including abusive relationships, interracial relationships, passionless marriages, loneliness and inter-marital affairs, along with the persistent racism that follows them from continent to continent.
With disarmingly effective understatement, Dick Cheney electrified a convention that many political veterans consider overscripted and passionless.
She is rescued by Hattie, a privileged white woman trapped in a passionless marriage to a capitalist eco-menace.
McCullough argues that Hopkins creates a new model of African-American womanhood by rejecting the white, passionless archetype of true womanhood that characterizes most sentimental fiction, and eliminating the stereotype of the lascivious black woman, to create a space for a new virtue that does not meet conventional white standards.
The cool, distant, passionless light of the cathode-ray tube now provides our guiding illumination, and a bleak, antiseptic light it is.
Baldwin acknowledges the criticism that "business is a passionless, cold reality," but highly successful films "realistically push other films to be made that conform to formulas.
360) Furthermore, while it is true that secular eighteenth-century novelists were among the first creators of the new passionless, morally superior female type of the late eighteenth century and nineteenth centuries, Leonore Davidoff and Catherine Hall have demonstrated conclusively that evangelicalism played a formative role in shaping the complex constructions of femininity and masculinity that emerged between 1780 and 1850.