transient

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

Definition of transient 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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 : affecting something or producing results beyond itself

transient

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

Definition of transient (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one that is transient (see transient entry 1): such as

a : a guest or boarder who stays only briefly

b : a person traveling about usually in search of work

2a : a temporary oscillation that occurs in a circuit because of a sudden change of voltage or of load

b : a transient current or voltage

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Other Words from transient

Adjective

transiently adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for transient

Adjective

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

How Should You Use transient?

A transient mood is one that passes quickly. A brief stopover in a town on your way to somewhere else is a transient visit. A summer job on a farm is transient work, lasting only as long as the growing season. You may occasionally experience a transient episode of dizziness or weakness, which vanishes without a trace. As a noun, transient means a person who passes through a place, staying only briefly. The hoboes and tramps of earlier years were some of our most colorful transients, known for hopping freight trains, panhandling on the street, and stealing homemade pies cooling on the windowsill.

Examples of transient in a Sentence

Adjective

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 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 The mountain lies between his residence and the main road, and occludes the expectation of transient visits. — Thomas Jefferson, letter, 4 Aug. 1820
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In this case, the world’s widest ocean was no match for America’s love and compassion for 12 boys trapped in a cave — so why can’t that same love transcend something as transient and as artificial as a simple border fence? Will Bunch, Philly.com, "The world shows its love to kids in a Thai cave. We need that same love for kids at the border | Will Bunch," 8 July 2018 But at least one other case is under review in an ongoing investigation: The arrest of a black transient man, Erasmus Banmah, 35, who was charged with five vehicle burglaries on the same day in February 2014. Charles Rabin, Jay Weaver And David Ovalle, miamiherald, "The chief wanted perfect stats, so cops were told to pin crimes on blacks, probe found," 12 July 2018 Engine displacement is reduced from 2.0L down to 1.7L. The turbocharger has been tweaked to be more responsive, thereby improving transient and low-end torque behavior. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Bosch might just have solved the problem of diesel NOx emissions," 27 Apr. 2018 Christian Klossner, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement, said the use of one- and two-family homes for transient housing is expanding, prompting more complaints from neighbors and more enforcement. Josh Barbanel, WSJ, "Homeowners Face More Fines as NYC Cracks Down on Short-Term Rentals," 10 July 2018 Some who may be living in their automobiles are transient, struggling to hold on to jobs, Studstill says. J.d. Gallop, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Nearly half a dozen people have died in Walmart parking lots in Brevard County since 2015," 24 June 2018 Cognac said the pair have been transient and were staying with acquaintances on Sheridan Drive. Frank Abderholden, Lake County News-Sun, "Two in custody after barricade incident in Wauconda," 19 June 2018 These nerves contain transient receptor potential (TRP) channels that are sensitive to itch (Neuron, May 2, 2018). Houston Chronicle, "Vicks VapoRub for poison ivy itch," 8 July 2018 Everyone thought the billionaire was crazy to try to build a fan base in a transient city that caters to visitors and doesn’t lack for activities. Charlotte Wilder, SI.com, "The Stanley Cup Final Display is for Vegas Locals and Game 1 Gave Them Ultimate Show," 29 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

So the transients, mostly women and children displaced from nearby towns, ventured outside their temporary housing on Monday for some air, witnesses said. Saeed Al-batati And Rick Gladstone, New York Times, "Saudi Bombing Is Said to Kill Yemeni Civilians Seeking Relief From the Heat," 2 Apr. 2018 Kevin Talbott, a transient from the Poway area, matched the description of a possible suspect in the homicide, sheriff's Lt. Steve Dreyer, Pomerado News, "Man fatally stabbed in Poway," 15 Jan. 2018 There is even the perception that our district is a suitable place for dangerous social experiments, such as drug needle distribution programs and portable toilets for transients. Michelle Figueredo-wilson, latimes.com, "Westside Costa Mesa deserves a strong voice on the City Council," 19 June 2018 Driving can also be difficult in the area because homeless people often walk in front of cars without looking and new parks, like the one in front of Pinnacle on the Park, has become a hangout for transients. Phillip Molnar, sandiegouniontribune.com, "More than 2,000 new San Diego apartments to open this year," 9 Mar. 2018 Weary travelers see the stores as friendly and convenient, modern meccas for the nation's transient, mobile culture. J.d. Gallop, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Nearly half a dozen people have died in Walmart parking lots in Brevard County since 2015," 24 June 2018 Authorities identified the man as 36-year-old James Rey Richard Kagaoan, a transient whose last reported address was in Sun Valley. Andy Nguyen, latimes.com, "‘It was just completely savage’: Good Samaritan recounts stopping knife attack at Burbank restaurant," 29 June 2018 The martial arts move – like one would see in an action movie – was executed flawlessly Monday in downtown Los Angeles after the transient went after a man walking his dog in an unprovoked attack, Los Angeles police told Fox 11. Greg Norman, Fox News, "Video shows bystander taking out violent homeless man with impressive flying kick," 27 June 2018 But the case disintegrated on the eve of trial when DNA tests urged by defense lawyer Mary Ellen Attridge revealed Stephanie Crowe’s blood on a shirt worn by a transient seen in the Crowe family's neighborhood the night of the killing. Greg Moran, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Families in high profile cases come out in final days of DA race," 2 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'transient.' 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 transient

Adjective

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1652, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for transient

Adjective

Latin transeunt-, transiens, present participle of transire to cross, pass by, from trans- + ire to go — more at issue entry 1

Noun

see transient entry 1

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Statistics for transient

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for transient

The first known use of transient was in 1599

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More Definitions for transient

transient

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of transient

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not lasting long

: staying somewhere only a short time

transient

noun

English Language Learners Definition of transient (Entry 2 of 2)

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

transient

adjective
tran·sient | \ˈtran-shənt \

Kids Definition of transient

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not lasting or staying long a transient illness transient workers

transient

noun

Kids Definition of transient (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person traveling about usually in search of work

transient

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

Medical Definition of transient 

: passing away in time : existing temporarily transient symptoms

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Comments on transient

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