[ 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 formstran·sep·tal, adjectivetran·sep·tal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for transept

British Dictionary definitions for transept


/ (ˈtrænsɛpt) /


either of the two wings of a cruciform church at right angles to the nave
Derived Formstranseptal, adjective

Word Origin for transept

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

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