AskDefine | Define passenger

Dictionary Definition

passenger n : a traveler riding in a vehicle (a boat or bus or car or plane or train etc) who is not operating it [syn: rider]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. One who rides in a vehicle but is not the driver or part of the operating crew.


See also

Extensive Definition

This article is about passengers in commercial transportation; for other uses see Passenger (disambiguation)
A passenger is a term broadly used to describe any person who travels in a vehicle, but bears little or no responsibility for the tasks required for that vehicle to arrive at its destination.
There are two common contexts in which the term is used:
  • The first is for persons transported in automobiles or vans, irrespective of whether they have paid for the transportation.
  • The second is for persons who pay to be transported in common carriers, including commercial vehicles and vessels such as buses, trains, airplanes, and ships. For example, a flight attendant on an airline or a cruise ship employee aboard such a ship would not be considered a "passenger" while aboard the vessel, but an employee riding in a company car being driven by another person would be considered a passenger, even if the car was being driven on company business.
In most jurisdictions, laws have been enacted that dictate the legal obligations of the owner of a vehicle or vessel, or of the driver or pilot of the same, towards the passengers. With respect to passengers riding in cars and vans, guest statutes may limit their ability to sue the driver of the vehicle over an accident. Many places require cars to be outfitted with measures specifically for the protection of passengers, such as passenger-side air bags. With respect to passengers on commercial vehicles or vessels, both national laws and international treaties require that the carrier act with a certain standard of care. The number of passengers that a vehicle or vessel may legally carry is defined as its seating capacity (although that term also describes the physical capacity of a space to seat people).
Historically, the concept of the passenger has existed for as long as man has been able to create means of transportation capable of carrying more people than were needed to operate the vessel.


  • Front passengers are situated near the driver.
  • Rear passenger are in the backseats.


In railway parlance, 'passenger', as well as being the end user of a service, is also a categorisation of the type of rolling stock used. In the British case, there are several categories of passenger train. These categories include:
  • Express passenger, which constitutes long distance and high speed railway travel between major locations such as ports and cities.
  • Semi-fast express passenger, a type of service that is high speed, though stops at selected destinations of high population density en-route.
  • Local passenger, the lowest category of British passenger train, which provides a service that stops at all stations between major destinations, for the benefit of local populations.


passenger in Czech: Cestující
passenger in German: Passagier
passenger in Spanish: Pasajero
passenger in Esperanto: Pasaĝero
passenger in Indonesian: Penumpang
passenger in Dutch: Passagier
passenger in Japanese: 旅客
passenger in Norwegian: Passasjer
passenger in Portuguese: Passageiros
passenger in Russian: Пассажир
passenger in Swedish: Passagerare
passenger in Chinese: 乘客

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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