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a prefix occurring in loanwords from Latin (transcend; transfix); on this model, used with the meanings “across,” “beyond,” “through,” “changing thoroughly,” “transverse,” in combination with elements of any origin:
transisthmian; trans-Siberian; transempirical; transvalue.
Chemistry. a prefix denoting a geometric isomer having a pair of identical atoms or groups on the opposite sides of two atoms linked by a double bond.
Compare cis- (def 2).
Astronomy. a prefix denoting something farther from the sun (than a given planet):
trans-Martian; trans-Neptunian.
a prefix meaning “on the other side of,” referring to the misalignment of one’s gender identity with one's biological sex assigned at birth:
transgender; transsexual.
Origin of trans-
< Latin, combining form of trāns (adv. and preposition) across, beyond, through Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for trans-


across, beyond, crossing, on the other side: transoceanic, trans-Siberian, transatlantic
changing thoroughly: transliterate
transcending: transubstantiation
transversely: transect
(often in italics) indicating that a chemical compound has a molecular structure in which two groups or atoms are on opposite sides of a double bond: trans-butadiene Compare cis- (sense 2)
Word Origin
from Latin trāns across, through, beyond
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for trans-

prefix meaning "across, beyond, to go beyond," from Latin trans-, from prep. trans "across, over, beyond," probably originally present participle of a verb *trare-, meaning "to cross" (see through).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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trans- in Medicine

trans- pref.

  1. Across; on the other side; beyond: transilient.

  2. Through: transpiration.

  3. Change; transfer: transketolation.

  4. Having a pair of identical atoms on opposite sides of two atoms linked by a double bond. Used of a geometric isomer. Usually in italic: trans-butene.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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