pass the torch

Idioms & Phrases

pass the torch

Also, hand on the torch. Relinquish responsibilities, a tradition, practice, or knowledge to another. For example, When the company's founder became too ill to continue, he passed the torch to his nephew. This metaphoric expression alludes to the ancient Greek torch race, in which a lighted torch was passed from one runner to the next. A translation from both Greek and Latin, the English version dates from the late 1800s.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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