[tran-si-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, -zi-]


not lasting, enduring, permanent, or eternal.
lasting only a short time; brief; short-lived; temporary.

Origin of transitory

1325–75; Middle English transitorie < Late Latin trānsitōrius fleeting (see transit, -tory1); replacing Middle English transitoire < Middle French < Late Latin, as above
Related formstran·si·to·ri·ly [tran-si-tawr-uh-lee, -tohr-, tran-si-tawr-, -tohr-, -zi-] /ˈtræn sɪˌtɔr ə li, -ˌtoʊr-, ˌtræn sɪˈtɔr-, -ˈtoʊr-, -zɪ-/, adverbtran·si·to·ri·ness, nounun·tran·si·to·ri·ly, adverbun·tran·si·to·ri·ness, nounun·tran·si·to·ry, adjective

Synonyms for transitory

2. See temporary.

Antonyms for transitory Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for transitory

Contemporary Examples of transitory

Historical Examples of transitory

  • In the strength of his constancy, the Pyramids seem to him recent and transitory.


    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • For this kingdom which is transitory and of the earth I do not greatly care.

    Henry the Sixth

    John Blacman

  • The effect of his words, on me, was neither slight nor transitory.

    My Bondage and My Freedom

    Frederick Douglass

  • All were as transitory as smoke, as illusionary as the opium-eater's mid-day dream.

  • But if the mania arise from causes which are transitory, then there is no ground for alarm.

    The Physical Life of Woman:

    Dr. George H Napheys

British Dictionary definitions for transitory



of short duration; transient or ephemeral
Derived Formstransitorily, adverbtransitoriness, noun

Word Origin for transitory

C14: from Church Latin transitōrius passing, from Latin transitus a crossing 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 transitory

late 14c., from Old French transitoire (12c.), from Late Latin transitorius "passing, transient," from Latin, "allowing passage through," from transitus, past participle of transire "go or cross over" (see transient).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper