transitive verb

noun Grammar.

a verb accompanied by a direct object and from which a passive can be formed, as deny, rectify, elect.

Nearby words

  1. transitional cell carcinoma,
  2. transitional denture,
  3. transitional epithelium,
  4. transitional zone,
  5. transitive,
  6. transitively,
  7. transitivity,
  8. transitman,
  9. transitory,
  10. transitory action

Origin of transitive verb

First recorded in 1580–90 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Culture definitions for transitive verb

transitive verb

A verb that needs a direct object to complete its meaning. Bring, enjoy, and prefer are transitive verbs. (Compare intransitive verb.)


Some verbs can be transitive in one sentence and intransitive in another: turned is transitive in “Brenda turned the wheel sharply” but intransitive in “Fred turned when I called.”

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.