[ trans-vurs, tranz-; trans-vurs, tranz- ]
See synonyms for transverse on
  1. lying or extending across or in a cross direction; cross.

  2. (of a flute) having a mouth hole in the side of the tube, near its end, across which the player's breath is directed.: Compare end-blown.

  1. (of an automotive engine) mounted with the crankshaft oriented sideways.

  1. something that is transverse.

  2. Nautical. web frame.

  1. Geometry. transverse axis.

  2. a city road that cuts through a park or other area of light traffic; shortcut.

Origin of transverse

First recorded in 1610–20, transverse is from the Latin word trānsversus going or lying across, athwart. See traverse

Other words from transverse

  • trans·verse·ly, adverb
  • sub·trans·verse, adjective
  • sub·trans·verse·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use transverse in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for transverse


/ (trænzˈvɜːs) /

  1. crossing from side to side; athwart; crossways

  2. geometry denoting the axis that passes through the foci of a hyperbola

  1. (of a flute, etc) held almost at right angles to the player's mouth, so that the breath passes over a hole in the side to create a vibrating air column within the tube of the instrument

  2. astronomy another word for tangential (def. 2)

  1. a transverse piece or object

Origin of transverse

C16: from Latin transversus, from transvertere to turn across, from trans- + vertere to turn

Derived forms of transverse

  • transversely, adverb
  • transverseness, noun

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