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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 ?
There was a sullen, poisonous silence, the stadium enveloped in a stifling atmosphere as passionless as the performance of the Blues players who struggled against mediocre opposition.
It's time for actors to take back the theatre, to rescue it from the stultifying, passionless commerce driven machine it has so often become.
The trick will be bringing passion to passionless companies run by passionless people via products that are energetic, interesting, and confident--three things most domestic offerings currently are not.
The problem is the lack of suitable English candidates to take over from the supposedly passionless Swede.
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.
Webster (1993) defines passionless as without passion, not moved by or showing emotion.
The film is surprisingly passionless and the ending is false, even trite.
Benjamin, a country boy, works as a cab-driver for his uncle night and day, partly to support himself and Stella, and partly to kill the boredom in his passionless, though not loveless, relationship with Stella, an oversensitive, somewhat depressive, and introverted woman, whom the reader gets to know primarily through extracts from her diary.
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.
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.