[ tran-zish-uhn, -sish- ]
See synonyms for: transitiontransitions on

  1. movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change: The transition from adolescence to adulthood can be difficult.

  2. Music.

    • a passing from one key to another; modulation.

    • a brief modulation; a modulation used in passing.

    • a sudden, unprepared modulation.

  1. a passage from one scene to another by sound effects, music, etc., as in a television program, theatrical production, or the like.

  2. Also called gen·der tran·si·tion [jen-der tran-zish-uhn, -sish-] /ˈdʒɛn dər trænˈzɪʃ ən, -ˈsɪʃ-/ . the process by which a transgender person comes to openly express their gender identity, including changes to their way of dressing, acting, or speaking, to their pronouns, name, or legal gender marker, or to their physical characteristics via hormone therapy and surgery: When I began my transition, there was very little information online about testosterone.

verb (used without object)
  1. to make a transition: He had difficulty transitioning from enlisted man to officer.

  2. (of a transgender person) to move toward openly expressing one's gender identity, often by making changes to one's way of dressing, acting, or speaking, to one's pronouns, name, or legal gender marker, or to one's physical characteristics via hormone therapy and surgery: My friend is transitioning socially, but she doesn't want hormone therapy or surgery.

Origin of transition

First recorded in 1545–55; from Latin trānsitiōn-, stem of trānsitiō “passage, transit across,” from trānsit(us) “gone across” (past participle of trānsīre “to go across, pass over”; cf. transit) + -iō -ion

Other words for transition

Other words from transition

  • tran·si·tion·al, tran·si·tion·a·ry [tran-zish-uh-ner-ee, -sish-], /trænˈzɪʃ əˌnɛr i, -ˈsɪʃ-/, adjective

Words Nearby transition Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use transition in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for transition


/ (trænˈzɪʃən) /

  1. change or passage from one state or stage to another

  2. the period of time during which something changes from one state or stage to another

  1. music

    • a movement from one key to another; modulation

    • a linking passage between two divisions in a composition; bridge

  2. Also called: transitional a style of architecture that was used in western Europe in the late 11th and early 12th century, characterized by late Romanesque forms combined with early Gothic details

  3. physics

    • any change that results in a change of physical properties of a substance or system, such as a change of phase or molecular structure

    • a change in the configuration of an atomic nucleus, involving either a change in energy level resulting from the emission of a gamma-ray photon or a transformation to another element or isotope

  4. a sentence, passage, etc, that connects a topic to one that follows or that links sections of a written work

Origin of transition

C16: from Latin transitio; see transient

Derived forms of transition

  • transitional or rare transitionary, adjective
  • transitionally, adverb

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