Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[tran-zish-uh n, -sish-] /trænˈzɪʃ ən, -ˈsɪʃ-/
movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change:
the transition from adolescence to adulthood.
  1. a passing from one key to another; modulation.
  2. a brief modulation; a modulation used in passing.
  3. a sudden, unprepared modulation.
a passage from one scene to another by sound effects, music, etc., as in a television program, theatrical production, or the like.
verb (used without object)
to make a transition:
He had difficulty transitioning from enlisted man to officer.
to change from one gender identity to another or to align one's dress, behavior, etc., with one's gender identity:
My friend is transitioning without hormone therapy or surgery.
Origin of transition
1545-55; < Latin trānsitiōn- (stem of trānsitiō) a going across, equivalent to trānsit(us) (past participle of transīre to cross; cf. transit) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
transitional, transitionary
[tran-zish-uh-ner-ee, -sish-] /trænˈzɪʃ əˌnɛr i, -ˈsɪʃ-/ (Show IPA),
transitionally, adverb
nontransitional, adjective
nontransitionally, adverb
untransitional, adjective
untransitionally, adverb
1. changeover, passing, conversion. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for transitional
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Inside there is a good deal of transitional Norman work to be seen.

  • First came what I hold to have been the transitional stage of the mother-age.

    The Truth About Woman C. Gasquoine Hartley
  • Hermaphroditism must be regarded as a temporary or transitional form.

    The Truth About Woman C. Gasquoine Hartley
  • So far we have only spoken of complete inversion; but there are transitional stages.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
  • Her brother raised his finger; it was the transitional passage on the drum.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
British Dictionary definitions for transitional


change or passage from one state or stage to another
the period of time during which something changes from one state or stage to another
  1. a movement from one key to another; modulation
  2. a linking passage between two divisions in a composition; bridge
Also called transitional. a style of architecture that was used in western Europe in the late 11th and early 12th century, characterized by late Romanesque forms combined with early Gothic details
  1. any change that results in a change of physical properties of a substance or system, such as a change of phase or molecular structure
  2. a change in the configuration of an atomic nucleus, involving either a change in energy level resulting from the emission of a gamma-ray photon or a transformation to another element or isotope
a sentence, passage, etc, that connects a topic to one that follows or that links sections of a written work
Derived Forms
transitional, (rare) transitionary, adjective
transitionally, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin transitio; see transient
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for transitional



1550s, from Latin transitionem (nominative transitio) "a going across or over," noun of action from past participle stem of transire "go or cross over" (see transient).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for transitional

Word Value for transitional

Scrabble Words With Friends