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pass someone or something up
1. to fail to select someone or something. The committee passed Jill up and chose Kelly. They passed up Jill.
2. to travel past someone or something. We had to pass the museum up, thinking we could visit the next time we were in town. We passed up a hitchhiker.
pass up somethingalso pass something up
to fail to take advantage of an opportunity Phillips could never pass up a chance to tell you how much he hated lawyers. When they invited her to perform, I told her she shouldn't pass it up.
Let go by, reject, as in I can't believe Betty passed up the chocolate cake, or This opportunity is too good to pass up. [Colloquial; late 1800s]
1. To transfer something from a lower level to a higher one: I passed the can of paint up to my friend who was painting the ceiling. The help department passes up serious complaints to the main office.
2. To transfer something to the next member of a sequence: We cleared the earth by forming a line and passing up buckets of dirt. Each person signed the document and passed it up to the next person on the list.
3. To reject or refuse someone or something: I passed up a chance for promotion because I didn't want to move across the country. That job offer sounds very good—don't pass it up!