• synonyms


  1. noting or having the quality of an intransitive verb.
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  1. intransitive verb.
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Origin of intransitive

From the Latin word intrānsitīvus, dating back to 1605–15. See in-3, transitive
Related formsin·tran·si·tive·ly, adverbin·tran·si·tive·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for intransitive

Historical Examples of intransitive

  • The absence of the nouns, in and of itself, makes it intransitive.

    A Handbook of the English Language

    Robert Gordon Latham

  • The intransitive meaning "to bow down" is taken by some commentators.

  • So, for an intransitive verb we have, either “I am gone,” or “it is gone by me.”

  • The beauty of Chinese verbs is that they are all transitive or intransitive at pleasure.


    Ezra Pound

  • It has come from generalizing all intransitive words into one.


    Ezra Pound

British Dictionary definitions for intransitive


    1. denoting a verb when it does not require a direct object
    2. denoting a verb that customarily does not require a direct object"to faint" is an intransitive verb
    3. (as noun)a verb in either of these categories
  1. denoting an adjective or noun that does not require any particular noun phrase as a referent
  2. logic maths (of a relation) having the property that if it holds between one argument and a second, and between the second and a third, it must fail to hold between the first and the third"being the mother of" is an intransitive relation
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Derived Formsintransitively, adverbintransitivity or intransitiveness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for intransitive


1610s, from Late Latin intransitivus "not passing over" (to another person), Priscian's term, from Latin in- "not" (see in- (1)) + transitivus "that may pass over," from transire "to pass over" (see transitive).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper