[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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for transiting

British Dictionary definitions for transiting



  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

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 transiting
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for transiting



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.