• synonyms


[tran-shuhnt, -zhuhnt, -zee-uhnt]
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  1. not lasting, enduring, or permanent; transitory.
  2. lasting only a short time; existing briefly; temporary: transient authority.
  3. staying only a short time: the transient guests at a hotel.
  4. Philosophy. transeunt.
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  1. a person or thing that is transient, especially a temporary guest, boarder, laborer, or the like.
  2. Mathematics.
    1. a function that tends to zero as the independent variable tends to infinity.
    2. a solution, especially of a differential equation, having this property.
  3. Physics.
    1. a nonperiodic signal of short duration.
    2. a decaying signal, wave, or oscillation.
  4. Electricity. a sudden pulse of voltage or current.
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Origin of transient

1590–1600; < Latin transi(ēns) (nominative singular), present participle of transīre to pass by, literally, go across + -ent; see transeunt
Related formstran·sient·ly, adverbtran·sient·ness, nounnon·tran·sient, adjectivenon·tran·sient·ly, adverbnon·tran·sient·ness, nounun·tran·sient, adjectiveun·tran·sient·ly, adverbun·tran·sient·ness, noun

Synonyms for transient

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Antonyms for transient

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for transiently

momentarily, temporarily, quickly, briefly, transiently, hastily, fleetingly

Examples from the Web for transiently

Historical Examples of transiently

  • But once—that transiently—yet sufficient to convince me that she is charming.

    A Bold Stroke for a Husband

    Hannah Cowley

  • I could manifest myself as palely, as transiently, as a thought.

  • These not only survived him, but were destined, in the end, to overcome the power which had transiently overthrown them.

  • He who read through her lustrous, transiently dwelling eyes had not that security.

  • They knew whose lips were there, and, for that moment, they did not recall the hands so transiently blest.

British Dictionary definitions for transiently


  1. for a short time only; temporary or transitory
  2. philosophy a variant of transeunt
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  1. a transient person or thing
  2. physics a brief change in the state of a system, such as a sudden short-lived oscillation in the current flowing through a circuit
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Derived Formstransiently, adverbtransience or transiency, noun

Word Origin for transient

C17: from Latin transiēns going over, from transīre to pass over, from trans- + īre to go
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 transiently



c.1600, from Latin transiens (accusative transientem) "passing over or away," present participle of transire "cross over, pass away," from trans- "across" (see trans-) + ire "to go" (see ion). The noun is first attested 1650s; specific sense of "transient guest or boarder" first recorded 1880.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper