[ tran-sit, -zit ]
/ ˈtræn sɪt, -zɪt /
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the act or fact of passing across or through; passage from one place to another.
conveyance or transportation from one place to another, as of persons or goods, especially, local public transportation: city transit.Compare mass transit.
a transition or change.
- the passage of a heavenly body across the meridian of a given location or through the field of a telescope.
- the passage of Mercury or Venus across the disk of the sun, or of a satellite or its shadow across the face of its primary.
- meridian circle.
Astrology. the passage of a planet in aspect to another planet or a specific point in a horoscope.
- Also called transit instrument. an instrument, as a theodolite, having a telescope that can be transited, used for measuring horizontal and sometimes vertical angles.
- a repeating transit theodolite.
(initial capital letter)U.S. Aerospace. one of a series of satellites for providing positional data to ships and aircraft.
verb (used with object), tran·sit·ed, tran·sit·ing.
to pass across or through.
Surveying. to turn (the telescope of a transit) in a vertical plane in order to reverse direction; plunge.
Astronomy. to cross (a meridian, celestial body, etc.).
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.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use transit in a sentence
Just as the Jubilee was wrapping up in London, as it happens, Venus transited the Sun.After the Queen’s Jubilee, a Sobering Summer|Christopher Dickey|June 8, 2012|DAILY BEAST
And it was all untrue; I found out afterwards how they were transited.The Possessed|Fyodor Dostoevsky
British Dictionary definitions for transit
/ (ˈtrænsɪt, ˈtrænz-) /
- the passage or conveyance of goods or people
- (as modifier)a transit visa
a change or transition
- the passage of a celestial body or satellite across the face of a relatively larger body as seen from the earth
- 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 forms of transittransitable, adjective
Word Origin for transit
C15: from Latin transitus a going over, from transīre to pass over; see transient
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
Scientific definitions for transit
[ trăn′sĭt ]
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.