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[tran-si-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, -zi-] /ˈtræn sɪˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, -zɪ-/
not lasting, enduring, permanent, or eternal.
lasting only a short time; brief; short-lived; temporary.
Origin of transitory
1325-75; Middle English transitorie < Late Latin trānsitōrius fleeting (see transit, -tory1); replacing Middle English transitoire < Middle French < Late Latin, as above
Related forms
[tran-si-tawr-uh-lee, -tohr-, tran-si-tawr-, -tohr-, -zi-] /ˈtræn sɪˌtɔr ə li, -ˌtoʊr-, ˌtræn sɪˈtɔr-, -ˈtoʊr-, -zɪ-/ (Show IPA),
transitoriness, noun
untransitorily, adverb
untransitoriness, noun
untransitory, adjective
2. permanent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for transitoriness
Historical Examples
  • Literally, the words read "Remember—I, what a transitoriness."

  • The poet then enlarges on the transitoriness of terrestrial love.

    Woman under Monasticism Lina Eckenstein
  • It teaches the transitoriness and mutability of this world and of all human things.

    A Civil Servant in Burma Herbert Thirkel White
  • Another characteristic of the wild religions is their transitoriness.

  • The violence of the storm has been counterbalanced by its transitoriness.

  • Every mood carried in itself a sub-consciousness of its transitoriness.

  • It must redeem it for ever from transitoriness and evanescence.

    Drum Taps Walt Whitman
  • I have had occasion several times to refer to the transitoriness of the warriors life as continually harped upon by Ossian.

    Ossian in Germany Rudolf Tombo
  • As to the permanence of love, or its transitoriness, the plain and candid answer is that there is no real assurance either way.

    Human Intercourse Philip Gilbert Hamerton
  • The transitoriness of human life should lead to full and hearty recognition of God, not to careless slighting of him.

British Dictionary definitions for transitoriness


/ˈtrænsɪtərɪ; -trɪ/
of short duration; transient or ephemeral
Derived Forms
transitorily, adverb
transitoriness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Church Latin transitōrius passing, from Latin transitus a crossing over; 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
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Word Origin and History for transitoriness



late 14c., from Old French transitoire (12c.), from Late Latin transitorius "passing, transient," from Latin, "allowing passage through," from transitus, past participle of transire "go or cross over" (see transient).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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