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[tran-sept] /ˈtræn sɛpt/
noun, Architecture.
any major transverse part of the body of a church, usually crossing the nave, at right angles, at the entrance to the choir.
an arm of this, on either side of the central aisle of a church.
Origin of transept
From the Anglo-Latin word trānseptum, dating back to 1530-40. See trans-, septum
Related forms
transeptal, adjective
transeptally, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for transept


either of the two wings of a cruciform church at right angles to the nave
Derived Forms
transeptal, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Anglo-Latin transeptum, from Latin trans- + saeptum enclosure
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 transept

"transverse section of a cruciform church," 1530s, from Medieval Latin transeptum, from Latin trans- "across" (see trans-) + saeptum "fence, partition, enclosure" (see septum). Rare before 1700.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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