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adjective tran·sient \ˈtran(t)-sh(ē-)ənt; ˈtran-zē-ənt, ˈtran(t)-sē-; ˈtran-zhənt, -jənt\

Simple Definition of transient

  • : not lasting long

  • : staying somewhere only a short time

Full Definition of transient

  1. 1a :  passing especially quickly into and out of existence :  transitory <transient beauty>b :  passing through or by a place with only a brief stay or sojourn <transient visitors>

  2. 2 :  affecting something or producing results beyond itself

tran·sient·ly adverb

Examples of transient

  1. A Summer in New York is actually Europe, the Sequel—city of transient Danes and Italians and Spaniards and French. —Guy Trebay, Village Voice, 30 July 1991

  2. But Vandenberg, who had already written a hagiographic biography of Hamilton, was doing his personal hero no service. Rather, he trivialized him by dragging him into the transient issues of the day. —John Steele Gordon, American Heritage, July/August 1990

  3. The mountain lies between his residence and the main road, and occludes the expectation of transient visits. —Thomas Jefferson, letter, 4 Aug. 1820

  4. <had transient thoughts of suicide but never acted upon them>

Origin of transient

Latin transeunt-, transiens, present participle of transire to cross, pass by, from trans- + ire to go — more at issue

First Known Use: 1599

Synonym Discussion of transient

transient, transitory, ephemeral, momentary, fugitive, fleeting, evanescent mean lasting or staying only a short time. transient applies to what is actually short in its duration or stay <a hotel catering primarily to transient guests>. transitory applies to what is by its nature or essence bound to change, pass, or come to an end <fame in the movies is transitory>. ephemeral implies striking brevity of life or duration <many slang words are ephemeral>. momentary suggests coming and going quickly and therefore being merely a brief interruption of a more enduring state <my feelings of guilt were only momentary>. fugitive and fleeting imply passing so quickly as to make apprehending difficult <let a fugitive smile flit across his face> <fleeting moments of joy>. evanescent suggests a quick vanishing and an airy or fragile quality <the story has an evanescent touch of whimsy that is lost in translation>.



noun tran·sient \ˈtran(t)-sh(ē-)ənt; ˈtran-zē-ənt, ˈtran(t)-sē-; ˈtran-zhənt, -jənt\

Simple Definition of transient

  • : a person who does not have a permanent home and who stays in a place for only a short time before going somewhere else

Full Definition of transient

  1. 1 :  one that is transient (see 1transient): asa :  a guest or boarder who stays only brieflyb :  a person traveling about usually in search of work

  2. 2a :  a temporary oscillation that occurs in a circuit because of a sudden change of voltage or of loadb :  a transient current or voltage

Origin of transient

(see 1transient)

First Known Use: 1652

TRANSIENT Defined for Kids



adjective tran·sient \ˈtran-shənt\

Definition of transient

  1. :  not lasting or staying long <a transient illness> <transient workers>



noun tran·sient

Definition of transient

  1. :  a person traveling about usually in search of work

Medical Dictionary


play play
adjective tran·sient \ˈtran-zē-ənt, ˈtranch-ənt\

Medical Definition of transient

  1. :  passing away in time :  existing temporarily <transient symptoms>

Seen and Heard

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February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

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