[tran-sit, -zit]


verb (used with object), tran·sit·ed, tran·sit·ing.

verb (used without object), tran·sit·ed, tran·sit·ing.

to pass over or through something; make a transit.
Astronomy. to make a transit across a meridian, celestial body, etc.

Nearby words

  1. transignification,
  2. transilient,
  3. transilluminate,
  4. transistor,
  5. transistorize,
  6. transit camp,
  7. transit circle,
  8. transit instrument,
  9. transit number,
  10. transit shed

Origin of transit

1400–50; late Middle English (noun and v.) < Latin trānsitus a going across, passage, equivalent to trānsi-, variant stem of trānsīre to cross (trāns- trans- + -īre to go) + -tus suffix of v. action

sic transit gloria mundi

[seek trahn-sit gloh-ri-ah moo n-dee; English sik tran-sit glawr-ee-uh muhn-dahy, -dee, glohr-, -zit]


thus passes away the glory of this world. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for transit

British Dictionary definitions for transit



  1. the passage or conveyance of goods or people
  2. (as modifier)a transit visa
a change or transition
a route
  1. the passage of a celestial body or satellite across the face of a relatively larger body as seen from the earth
  2. the apparent passage of a celestial body across the meridian, caused by the earth's diurnal rotation
astrology the passage of a planet across some special point on the zodiac
in transit while being conveyed; during passage


to make a transit through or over (something)
astronomy to make a transit across (a celestial body or the meridian)
to cause (the telescope of a surveying instrument) to turn over or (of such a telescope) to be turned over in a vertical plane so that it points in the opposite direction
Derived Formstransitable, adjective

Word Origin for transit

C15: from Latin transitus a going over, from transīre to pass over; see transient

sic transit gloria mundi

thus passes the glory of the world
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 transit
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for transit



The passage of a smaller celestial body or its shadow across the disk of a larger celestial body. As observed from Earth, Mercury and Venus are the only planets of the solar system that make transits of the Sun, because they are the only planets with orbits that lie between Earth and the Sun. Mercury makes an average of 13 transits of the Sun each century. Transits of Venus across the Sun are much rarer, with only 7 of them having occurred between 1639 and 2004. In contrast, transits of Jupiter's moons across its disk are common occurrences. Compare occultation.
The passage of a celestial body across the celestial meridian (the great circle on the celestial sphere passing through the celestial poles and an observer's zenith). For any observer, the object is at its highest in the sky at its transit of the observer's meridian. See more at celestial meridian.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for transit

Sic transit gloria mundi

[(sik tran-sit glawr-ee-uh moon-dee)]

Latin for “Thus passes away the glory of the world”; worldly things do not last.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with transit

sic transit gloria mundi

Nothing on earth is permanent, as in His first three novels were bestsellers and now he can't even find an agent—sic transit gloria mundi. This expression, Latin for “Thus passes the glory of the world,” has been used in English since about 1600, and is familiar enough so that it is sometimes abbreviated to sic transit.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.