- to refer to someone dying in order to avoid upsetting someone with the news of the death
- to stop existing or to go extinct
- Martha let us know that our grandfather passed away two nights ago.
- I didn’t take the news of my mom passing away too well.
- We didn’t know how to tell Amanda that her sister had passed away.
- As a doctor, the hardest part of my job is to tell people that their loved ones have passed away.
- How do I tell Mary that her baby has passed away?
- The illness took a toll on Tobi and no one was that surprised to hear that he had passed away last night.
Most people think this phrase is an euphemism that is used to soften the news of someone dying but this is not the case. In 15th century England, people believed that when someone died, they are still on earth until after the funeral rites have been done. They believed that until then, the dead could still hear and see all that is happening. It was only after the funeral rites that the person then passes away. So this is the origin of the phrase.