Referred to their ancestry only in passing


Senior Member
Indian English
Source: Thee Kite Runner
Author: Khaled Hosseini

Sentence: School textbooks barely mentioned them and referred to their ancestry only in passing.

I can't get the meaning of "in passing". Please help me.
  • pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    Definition 3 under "passing" (noun form) in the dictionary here:

    in passing ⇒ by the way; incidentally: he mentioned your visit in passing

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    It means they did not make a big deal out of the ancestry. Depending on the context this could imply either praise or criticism!
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