Nearby words

  1. travelling-wave tube,
  2. travelogue,
  3. traven,
  4. traven, b.,
  5. travers,
  6. traverse city,
  7. traverse jury,
  8. traverse rod,
  9. travertin,
  10. travertine

Origin of traverse

1250–1300; (v.) Middle English traversen < Middle French traverser to cross < Late Latin trānsversāre, derivative of Latin trānsversus (see trans-, versus); (noun) Middle English travers(e) < Middle French traverse (< Latin trānsversa something lying across, feminine of trānsversus) and travers (< Latin trānsversum passage across, neuter of trānsversus)

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for traversal

  • She59 noticed the bag, its texture, and the words “Traversal—Toulon” stamped on it.

    The Beach of Dreams|H. De Vere Stacpoole

British Dictionary definitions for traversal



to pass or go over or back and forth over (something); cross
(tr) to go against; oppose; obstruct
to move or cause to move sideways or crosswise
(tr) to extend or reach across
to turn (an artillery gun) laterally on its pivot or mount or (of an artillery gun) to turn laterally
(tr) to look over or examine carefully
(tr) law to deny (an allegation of fact), as in pleading
(intr) fencing to slide one's blade towards an opponent's hilt while applying pressure against his blade
mountaineering to move across (a face) horizontally
(tr) nautical to brace (a yard) fore and aft


something being or lying across, such as a transom
a gallery or loft inside a building that crosses it
maths another name for transversal (def. 1)
an obstruction or hindrance
fortifications a protective bank or other barrier across a trench or rampart
a railing, screen, or curtain
the act or an instance of traversing or crossing
a path or road across
nautical the zigzag course of a vessel tacking frequently
law the formal denial of a fact alleged in the opposite party's pleading
surveying a survey consisting of a series of straight lines, the length of each and the angle between them being measured
mountaineering a horizontal move across a face


being or lying across; transverse


an archaic word for across
Derived Formstraversable, adjectivetraversal, nountraverser, noun

Word Origin for traverse

C14: from Old French traverser, from Late Latin trānsversāre, from Latin trānsversus transverse

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 traversal



early 14c., "pass across, over, or through," from Old French traverser "to cross, thwart" (11c.), from Vulgar Latin *traversare, from Latin transversare "to cross, throw across," from Latin transversus "turn across" (see transverse). The noun meaning "act of passing through a gate, crossing a bridge, etc." is recorded from mid-14c.; meaning "a passage by which one may traverse" is recorded from 1670s. Military foritifcation sense of "barrier, barricade" is recorded from 1590s. Related: Traversed; traversing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper