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Passion (from the Latin verb patior, meaning to suffer or to endure, also related to compatible) is an emotion applied to a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion compelling feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for something.


  • Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark.
  • Passion is terrifying, it can rock you, change you, bring your head under, as when a wind rises from the bottom of the sea, and you're out there in the craft of your mortality, alone.
  • For passion, be it observed, brings insight with it; it can give a sort of intelligence to simpletons, fools, and idiots, especially during youth.
    • Honoré de Balzac, ''Les Célibataires (A Bachelor's Establishment), first part was published as Les Deux Frères in La Presse (1841).
  • Fountain-heads and pathless groves,
    Places which pale passion loves!
  • What is passion? It is surely the becoming of a person. Are we not, for most of our lives, marking time? Most of our being is at rest, unlived. In passion, the body and the spirit seek expression outside of self. Passion is all that is other from self. Sex is only interesting when it releases passion. The more extreme and the more expressed that passion is, the more unbearable does life seem without it. It reminds us that if passion dies or is denied, we are partly dead and that soon, come what may, we will be wholly so.
    • John Boorman, Projections, entry for May 16, 1991, eds. John Boorman and Walter Donohue (1992).
  • Filled with fury, rapt, inspir'd.
  • Our headstrong passions shut the door of our souls against God.
    • Confucius, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 442.
  • We are ne'er like angels till our passion dies.
  • Connect with all the passions people have - for themselves, their families and their wider world - and they'll follow you to the ends of the earth. They will spread goodwill about your business, work hard for you, and buy your products, services and stock with pride. You will attract the best people, form highly motivated teams, collect loyal customers, sell the strongest brands with the greatest purpose and highest values, promising a better future.
  • A toothache, or a violent passion, is not necessarily diminished by our knowledge of its causes, its character, its importance or insignificance.
    • T. S. Eliot, Doctoral dissertation in philosophy; submitted to Harvard in 1916. Knowledge and Experience in the Philosophy of F.H. Bradley, ch. 1, Columbia University Press (1964).
  • It is obvious that we can no more explain a passion to a person who has never experienced it than we can explain light to the blind.
    • T. S. Eliot, Doctoral dissertation in philosophy; submitted to Harvard in 1916. Knowledge and Experience in the Philosophy of F.H. Bradley, ch. 1, Columbia University Press (1964).
  • The passion rebuilds the world for the youth. It makes all things alive and significant.
  • Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring.
  • Most marriages recognize this paradox: Passion destroys passion; we want what puts an end to wanting what we want.
  • Matter gave birth to a passion that has no equal, which proceeded from something contrary to nature. Then there arises a disturbance in its whole body.
  • [T]his man who is devoured by jealousy, hatred, avarice, or ambition, can never find any rest. The most peaceful spot, the freshest and most calming drinks are alike useless to one who has not freed his heart from the torment of passion.
  • Take heed lest passion sway
    Thy judgment to do aught, which else free will
    Would not admit.
  • Passion persuades me one way, reason another. I see the better and approve it, but I follow the worse.
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 7. 19-21.
  • Strong passions mean weak will.
    • Coventry Patmore, The Angel in the House (1854), Book I, Canto III, 2 Love a Virtue.
  • If you have a great passion it seems that the logical thing is to see the fruit of it, and the fruit are children.
  • Search then the ruling passion; there alone,
    The wild are constant, and the cunning known;
    The fool consistent, and the false sincere;
    Priests, princes, women, no dissemblers here.
  • And you, brave Cobham! to the latest breath
    Shall feel your ruling passion strong in death.
  • In men, we various ruling passions find;
    In women two almost divide the kind;
    Those only fix'd, they first or last obey.
    The love of pleasure, and the love of sway.
  • The ruling passion, be it what it will,
    The ruling passion conquers reason still.
  • Passion very often makes the wisest men fools, and very often too inspires the greatest fools with wit.
  • The opinions that are held with passion are always those for which no good ground exists; indeed the passion is the measure of the holder's lack of rational conviction. Opinions in politics and religion are almost always held passionately.
  • The most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy.
    • Yves Saint Laurent, reported in Gaille, Brandon (July 23, 2013). "List of 38 Famous Fashion Quotes and Sayings". Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  • What to ourselves in passion we propose,
    The passion ending, doth the purpose lose.
  • O, that my tongue were in the thunder's mouth!
    Then with a passion would I shake the world.
  • Alas, why gnaw you so your nether lip?
    Some bloody passion shakes your very frame;
    These are portents; but yet I hope, I hope,
    They do not point on me.
  • We should employ our passions in the service of life, not spend life in the service of our passions.
    • Richard Steele, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 442.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 580-81.
  • Only I discern
    Infinite passion, and the pain
    Of finite hearts that yearn.
  • For one heat, all know, doth drive out another,
    One passion doth expel another still.
  • Bee to the blossom, moth to the flame;
    Each to his passion; what's in a name?
  • Toutes les passions ne sont autre chose que les divers degrés de la chaleur et de la froideur du sang.
  • Where passion leads or prudence points the way.
  • May I govern my passions with absolute sway,
    And grow wiser and better as my strength wears away.
  • Passions are likened best to floods and streams,
    The shallow murmur, but the deep are dumb.
    • Sir Walter Raleigh, The Silent Lover. See Cayley's Life of Raleigh, Volume I, Chapter III.
  • He will hold thee, when his passion shall have spent its novel force,
    Something better than his dog, a little dearer than his horse.
  • The seas are quiet when the winds give o'er;
    So calm are we when passions are no more!
  • But, children, you should never let
    Such angry passions rise;
    Your little hands were never made
    To tear each other's eyes.
  • And beauty, for confiding youth,
    Those shocks of passion can prepare
    That kill the bloom before its time,
    And blanch, without the owner's crime,
    The most resplendent hair.
    • If the men were without passions, it would be forgivable to see Machiavel try to give some to them; he would be the new Prometheus bringing celestial fire to breathe life into robots. But no man is without passions. When they are moderated, they are the heart of the enterprise; but when the brake is stripped of them, they are its destruction.
    • Frederick II of Prussia, Anti-Machiavel Ch. 6 : New States That The Prince Acquires By His Valor And His Own Weapons

See also

Wikipedia has an article about:

Adoration ~ Affection ~ Agony ~ Amusement ~ Anger ~ Anguish ~ Anxiety ~ Apathy ~ Awe ~ Boredom ~ Calmness ~ Cheerfulness ~ Compassion ~ Contempt ~ Contentment ~ Depression ~ Desire ~ Disappointment ~ Discontent ~ Disgust ~ Ecstasy ~ Embarrassment ~ Empathy ~ Enthusiasm ~ Envy ~ Euphoria ~ Fear ~ Gratitude ~ Grief ~ Guilt ~ Happiness ~ Hatred ~ Hope ~ Hostility ~ Humiliation ~ Impatience ~ Indignation ~ Insecurity ~ Jealousy ~ Joy ~ Loneliness ~ Loss ~ Love ~ Lust ~ Malice ~ Melancholy ~ Nostalgia ~ Panic ~ Passion ~ Pity ~ Pride ~ Rage ~ Regret ~ Remorse ~ Resentment ~ Sadness ~ Shame ~ Sorrow ~ Suffering ~ Surprise ~ Sympathy ~ Wonder ~ Worry