The term “passion” comes from the Latin word “passio,” which means “suffering” or “enduring.” This is derived from the Latin verb “patior,” meaning “to suffer” or “to endure.”

1. Proto-Indo-European (PIE)

The PIE root “*kwent(h)-” means “to suffer.”

2. Latin

From the PIE root, the Latin word “patior” developed, meaning “to suffer” or “to endure.” The noun “passio” was derived from “patior” and means “suffering” or “enduring.”

3. Old French (c. 9th to 14th century CE)

The Latin term “passio” evolved into Old French “pasion,” meaning “suffering” or “strong emotion.”

4. Middle English (c. 11th to 15th century CE)

The Old French “pasion” was adopted into Middle English as “passioun,” meaning “suffering” or “intense emotion.”

5. Modern English (from 15th century CE to present)

The term “passion” evolved into its current form and pronunciation, broadening its meaning to include “intense emotion” or “strong enthusiasm or desire.”

Phonetic Evolution

Over time, the pronunciation of “passion” has remained relatively stable from Old French to Modern English.

Usage Examples

  • “Passion is often used to describe intense emotion or strong enthusiasm for something.”
  • “Another example of ‘passion’ in a sentence is ‘Her passion for music was evident in every performance.'”

Cultural or Historical Notes

The development of the word “passion” was significantly influenced by its use in religious contexts, particularly the Passion of Christ, which refers to the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus. Over time, the term’s meaning expanded to encompass intense emotions and strong desires.

The word “passion” reflects the concept of intense emotion and deep commitment, emphasizing the importance of strong feelings and dedication in various aspects of human life, including personal interests, relationships, and pursuits. It underscores the role of emotional intensity and enthusiasm in motivating actions and inspiring others.