[tran-zish-uhn, -sish-]


movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change: the transition from adolescence to adulthood.
  1. a passing from one key to another; modulation.
  2. a brief modulation; a modulation used in passing.
  3. a sudden, unprepared modulation.
a passage from one scene to another by sound effects, music, etc., as in a television program, theatrical production, or the like.

verb (used without object)

to make a transition: He had difficulty transitioning from enlisted man to officer.
to change from one gender identity to another or to align one's dress, behavior, etc., with one's gender identity: My friend is transitioning without hormone therapy or surgery.

Origin of transition

1545–55; < Latin trānsitiōn- (stem of trānsitiō) a going across, equivalent to trānsit(us) (past participle of transīre to cross; cf. transit) + -iōn- -ion
Related formstran·si·tion·al, tran·si·tion·a·ry [tran-zish-uh-ner-ee, -sish-] /trænˈzɪʃ əˌnɛr i, -ˈsɪʃ-/, adjectivetran·si·tion·al·ly, adverbnon·tran·si·tion·al, adjectivenon·tran·si·tion·al·ly, adverbun·tran·si·tion·al, adjectiveun·tran·si·tion·al·ly, adverb

Synonyms for transition Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for transitional

Contemporary Examples of transitional

Historical Examples of transitional

  • Inside there is a good deal of transitional Norman work to be seen.

  • First came what I hold to have been the transitional stage of the mother-age.

    The Truth About Woman

    C. Gasquoine Hartley

  • Hermaphroditism must be regarded as a temporary or transitional form.

    The Truth About Woman

    C. Gasquoine Hartley

  • So far we have only spoken of complete inversion; but there are transitional stages.

  • Her brother raised his finger; it was the transitional passage on the drum.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

British Dictionary definitions for transitional



change or passage from one state or stage to another
the period of time during which something changes from one state or stage to another
  1. a movement from one key to another; modulation
  2. a linking passage between two divisions in a composition; bridge
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
  1. any change that results in a change of physical properties of a substance or system, such as a change of phase or molecular structure
  2. 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
a sentence, passage, etc, that connects a topic to one that follows or that links sections of a written work
Derived Formstransitional or rare transitionary, adjectivetransitionally, adverb

Word Origin for transition

C16: from Latin transitio; 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 transitional



1550s, from Latin transitionem (nominative transitio) "a going across or over," noun of action from past participle stem of transire "go or cross over" (see transient).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper