tran·​sept ˈtran(t)-ˌsept How to pronounce transept (audio)
: 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
transeptal adjective

Examples of transept in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web By the time of Gaudí’s death in 1926, the Sagrada Familia was just 10 to 15 percent complete, including a crypt, a transept, and some of the apse wall. Tori Latham, Robb Report, 26 Mar. 2024 The corners of the building’s transepts will be bumped out to improve sight lines and connections between the entire church building and will add about 100 seats in the process. Melissa Whatley, Baltimore Sun, 22 Jan. 2024 Over time, the former church’s transept became a bathroom; the sacristy a kitchen. Jeastman, oregonlive, 23 June 2023 Perpendicular to this, one level above, runs an east-west passage that contains a chapel space and an outdoor terrace, placed on axis with the transept of the synagogue. Michael J. Lewis, WSJ, 24 Mar. 2022 There are three main piles of debris—in the nave, the crossing and the north transept—as well as material still on top of the remaining vaults. Philip Ball, Scientific American, 9 Jan. 2020 The two western towers were finished and a spire was added to the crossing of the nave and transept. Washington Post, 16 Jan. 2020 The best place from which to see them is the juncture of nave and transept. Bruce Dale, National Geographic, 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, 13 Dec. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'transept.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

circa 1542, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of transept was circa 1542

Dictionary Entries Near transept

Cite this Entry

“Transept.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


tran·​sept ˈtran(t)s-ˌept How to pronounce transept (audio)
: the section forming the short arm of a church with a cross-shaped floor plan

More from Merriam-Webster on transept

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!