= to die (but it is a slightly less upsetting word than ‘die’)
E.g. “Actor Christopher Lee passed away yesterday after suffering from heart failure”.


Hello everyone, this is Luke Thompson. You’re listening to “A Phrasal Verb a Day”. How many phrasal verbs is this now? Let’s have a quick look. This should be phrasal verb number 114 and this one is to PASS AWAY. PASS AWAY.
P A S S, A A A, sorry, P A S S, A W A Y, PASS AWAY and it means to die or to pass on. Just another way of saying to die. We tend to use PASS AWAY as an alternative to ‘die’ when we think that the word die might be a bit upsetting because the word, you know, if you say “he died”, it (sounds)…, it can be a bit strong and it could be a little bit upsetting. So, instead you can say “he PASSED AWAY”. It’s just a slightly more acceptable, or a slightly less upsetting word for ‘die’. Okay?
For example, I mean just recently, the actor Christopher Lee PASSED AWAY, or the actor Christopher Lee died. You know who Christopher Lee is, don’t you? He was an actor. He performed in millions… well, not millions, that’s an exaggeration. He was in hundreds and hundreds of films. Some of his most famous roles include Dracula… In some of the early English Hammer horror movies he played Dracula five times. He also was Count Dooku in the Star Wars prequel movies. He was a bad guy in James Bond film. He was Scaramanga in one of the James Bond movies and also he played the wizard Saruman in The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies and apparently he PASSED AWAY in hospital aged ninety-three. He was suffering from respiratory problems and heart failure and apparently he died in hospital.
So, there you go. That’s the phrase to PASS AWAY. On the subject of Christopher Lee, obviously, it’s sad that he’s gone but I think living until ninety-three and having such a distinguished and interesting career, I think he’s just someone who we can celebrate. He had a very good innings. So, there you go. To PASS AWAY meaning to die. There’ll be another phrasal verb episode on its way to you soon in some form but for now, for this one, it’s just time to say goodbye.