noun \ˈtra-vərs also -ˌvərs, especially for 6 & 8 also trə-ˈ or tra-ˈ\

Definition of TRAVERSE

:  something that crosses or lies across
:  a formal denial of a matter of fact alleged by the opposing party in a legal pleading
a :  a compartment or recess formed by a partition, curtain, or screen
b :  a gallery or loft providing access from one side to another in a large building
:  a route or way across or over: as
a :  a zigzag course of a sailing ship with contrary winds
b :  a curving or zigzag way up a steep grade
c :  the course followed in traversing
:  the act or an instance of traversing :  crossing
:  a protective projecting wall or bank of earth in a trench
a :  a lateral movement (as of the saddle of a lathe carriage); also :  a device for imparting such movement
b :  the lateral movement of a gun about a pivot or on a carriage to change direction of fire
:  a line surveyed across a plot of ground

Origin of TRAVERSE

Middle English travers, from Anglo-French travers (as in a travers, de travers across), from Latin transversum (as in in transversum set crosswise), neuter of transversus lying across; senses 5–9 in part from 2traverse — more at transverse
First Known Use: 14th century


verb \trə-ˈvərs also tra-ˈ or ˈtra-(ˌ)\

: to move across (an area)


Full Definition of TRAVERSE

transitive verb
a :  to go against or act in opposition to :  oppose, thwart
b :  to deny (as an allegation of fact or an indictment) formally at law
a :  to go or travel across or over
b :  to move or pass along or through <light rays traversing a crystal>
:  to make a study of :  examine
:  to lie or extend across :  cross <the bridge traverses a brook>
a :  to move to and fro over or along
b :  to ascend, descend, or cross (a slope or gap) at an angle
c :  to move (a gun) to right or left on a pivot
:  to make or carry out a survey of by using traverses
intransitive verb
:  to move back and forth or from side to side
:  to move or turn laterally :  swivel
a :  to climb at an angle or in a zigzag course
b :  to ski across rather than straight down a hill
:  to make a survey by using traverses
tra·vers·able \-ˈvər-sə-bəl, -(ˌ)vər-\ adjective
tra·vers·er noun

Examples of TRAVERSE

  1. The candidates traversed the state throughout the campaign.
  2. The river traverses the county.

Origin of TRAVERSE

Middle English, from Anglo-French traverser, from Late Latin transversare, from Latin transversus
First Known Use: 14th century


adjective \ˈtra-(ˌ)vərs, trə-ˈ, tra-ˈ\

Definition of TRAVERSE

:  lying across :  transverse

First Known Use of TRAVERSE

15th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: traverse board
Previous Word in the Dictionary: traversal
All Words Near: traverse

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up traverse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More