[ trans, tranz ]
/ træns, trænz /
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transgender: Their son is trans.Laura is a trans woman.
(no longer in common use) transsexual.
noun, plural trans·es, (especially collectively) trans.
Usually Offensive. a person who is transgender.
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Question 1 of 7
Which sentence is correct?
See also trans*, trans+.

Origin of trans

First recorded in 1970–75; by shortening

usage note for trans

The terms transgender and trans are generally accepted as interchangeable. However, some people prefer the shortened adjective trans to avoid any reference to assigned sex or binary gender in this inclusive identity label.
Many transgender people prefer writing trans compounds as two words, as in trans man, trans woman, and trans person. When so written as an open compound with a space, trans functions as an adjective modifying a noun such as man. Spelling these words as closed or hyphenated compounds, as in transmale and trans-people, loses the distinction between trans as a descriptive adjective and man, woman, or person as a human being. Similarly, cis male and cis female are the preferred spelling of these terms. See also transgender.

Other definitions for trans (2 of 4)

[ trans, tranz, trans-stahr, trans-as-ter-isk, tranz-as‐ ]
/ træns, trænz, ˈtræns ˈstɑr, ˈtræns ˈæs tər ɪsk, ˈtrænz ˈæs‐ /

of or relating to people with gender expressions outside traditional norms, as transgender, genderqueer, agender, or nonbinary: important trans* issues;campus groups that welcome trans* students.
Usually Offensive. a person with a gender identity outside traditional gender norms.
See also trans+.

Origin of trans*

First recorded in 2000–05; by shortening of transgender

historical usage of trans*

The asterisk has been used as a wildcard symbol in computing since the late 1960s, and it is this variable meaning that is invoked by the umbrella identity term trans* . Much like the terms transgender and trans , the form trans* is meant to include a range of people, including those who are transgender , agender , bigender , genderqueer , and others who identify outside of traditional gender categories or do not conform to societal gender norms.
The use of the wildcard asterisk is intended to encompass multiple discrete identity labels while also accommodating complex intersectional or overlapping identities. However, many in the trans community prefer the label trans without the asterisk, trans+ , or LGBT+ as an inclusive umbrella term.
Some people find the version with the asterisk to be inaccurate (inclusive of all nonbinary people, whether or not they identify as trans), exclusionary (implying that some people who identify as trans are not trans enough), or offensive (by association with the asterisk convention used in recordkeeping to mark an entry as imperfect or irregular). As with most labels, it is best to respect and adopt the language by which the person in question self-identifies.

usage note for trans*

Other definitions for trans (3 of 4)


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 sex assigned at birth: transgender.

Origin of trans-

From Latin, combining form of trāns (adverb and preposition) “across, beyond, through”

Other definitions for trans (4 of 4)


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use trans in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for trans (1 of 2)


sometimes before s- tran-

across, beyond, crossing, on the other sidetransoceanic; trans-Siberian; transatlantic
changing thoroughlytransliterate
(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 bondtrans-butadiene Compare cis- (def. 2)

Word Origin for trans-

from Latin trāns across, through, beyond

British Dictionary definitions for trans (2 of 2)


abbreviation for
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