tran·​sept | \ ˈtran(t)-ˌsept How to pronounce transept (audio) \

Definition of transept

: the part of a cruciform church that crosses at right angles to the greatest length between the nave and the apse or choir also : either of the projecting ends of a transept

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Other Words from transept

transeptal \ tran(t)-​ˈsep-​tᵊl How to pronounce transeptal (audio) \ adjective

Examples of transept in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The two western towers were finished and a spire was added to the crossing of the nave and transept. Washington Post, "The battle for Notre Dame," 16 Jan. 2020 The best place from which to see them is the juncture of nave and transept. Bruce Dale, National Geographic, "Adored, neglected, and restored: A 1968 Nat Geo feature explored Notre Dame," 17 Apr. 2019 In its news release Friday, the Land office noted that in 1995, human remains were were found in the main portion of the church, along the south transept and inside the Monks Burial room in 1989. John C Moritz Austin Bureau Usa Today Network, USA TODAY, "Alamo workers uncover human remains during archaeological exploration," 13 Dec. 2019 In 2007, the artist designed a monumental window for the south transept of Cologne Cathedral. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "New Stained Glass Is Coming to Germany’s Oldest Monastery," 23 Aug. 2019 This was considered such a success that it was repeated some 15 years later on the south transept. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "Notre Dame Cathedral Will Never Be the Same—and That's Ok," 19 Apr. 2019 Work began on the transept facades, which were completed by his successor, Pierre de Montreuil. National Geographic, "An 800-year history of Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral," 15 Apr. 2019 At some point thereafter, a decision was made to add transepts at the choir, where the altar is, to bring more light into the center of the church. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "Notre Dame Cathedral Will Never Be the Same—and That's Ok," 19 Apr. 2019 Yet this monument to Baroque Classicism is actually constructed upon a Gothic cruciform footprint—a long central nave running from west to east intersected by a transept. Barrymore Laurence Scherer, WSJ, "A Symbol of Britain’s Will to Survive," 11 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'transept.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of transept

circa 1542, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for transept

New Latin transeptum, from Latin trans- + septum, saeptum enclosure, wall

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Time Traveler for transept

Time Traveler

The first known use of transept was circa 1542

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Statistics for transept

Last Updated

27 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Transept.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 29 January 2020.

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More Definitions for transept


How to pronounce transept (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of transept

: the shorter area that goes across and sticks out from the long part of a church and that gives the church the shape of a cross when it is viewed from above

More from Merriam-Webster on transept

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with transept Encyclopedia article about transept

Comments on transept

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


to assert without proof or before proving

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