transient

adjective
tran·​sient | \ ˈtran(t)-sh(ē-)ənt How to pronounce transient (audio) ; 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 How to pronounce transient (audio) ; 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 The bulletin said Martinez was transient, from Fort Collins and recently moved to Denver. Noelle Phillips, The Denver Post, "Police looking for leads in woman’s death in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood," 13 Dec. 2019 Success is when the family isn’t transient and the children aren’t forced to move around from school to school. John Kelly, Washington Post, "For this retired teacher, volunteering at Bright Beginnings is a weekly lesson," 22 Dec. 2019 The authorities did not release the names of the two parishioners who had been killed or the gunman, whom the F.B.I. special agent in charge of Dallas described as a transient person with roots in the area. New York Times, "Shooting at Texas Church Leaves 2 Parishioners Dead, Officials Say," 29 Dec. 2019 The symptoms of menopause can include hot flushes, depression, aches and pains, insomnia, anxiety and transient memory loss. The Economist, "Managing menopause Millions of women are missing out on hormone replacement therapy," 12 Dec. 2019 The money comes from the transient occupancy tax of 10.5 percent levied on hotel/motel stays in the city. San Diego Union-Tribune, "The place of arts in everyday life is a passion for Jonathon Glus," 20 Oct. 2019 While the last annual point in count, taken in January, showed a 6 percent decrease in the homeless population — from 3,066 to 2,872 — experts note that this is just an estimate and that the highly transient population is difficult to count. Sara Cline, ExpressNews.com, "California firm working on San Antonio homelessness plan impressed with what it sees so far," 24 Nov. 2019 As an increasing number of people move to or are born in cities, questions of fragmented communities, transient populations, overcrowding, inequality, and segregation—and how these affect the wellbeing of residents—will become more acute. Sam Rigby, Quartz, "The Scottish city trying to make urban living less miserable," 2 Nov. 2019 However, because of the transient nature of the population and a 94 percent immunization rate in schools — slightly lower than the 95 percent target — Florida remains a high risk for an outbreak. Dan Sweeney, sun-sentinel.com, "What do you think: Should Florida require shots for students, ending religious exemption?," 19 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun When the rush hour crowds subside, trains become a refuge for people with nowhere else to go: between January and March of last year, officials counted 292 transients for every 100 train cars on weekends — up from 125 in 2018. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "BART has lost nearly 10 million riders on nights and weekends. Can it lure them back?," 12 Feb. 2020 Astronomers also need software to sift through transient alerts and take a first stab at deciding what an event is. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Big telescopes join hunt for things that go flash in the night," 12 Feb. 2020 Homeless offenders were more likely than non-transients to have registry violations, according to a 2015 study published in the Social Work and Criminal Justice Publications. Stephen Simpson, Arkansas Online, "Sex-offender housing laws raise hitch," 29 Dec. 2019 The female adult, who appeared to be a transient, was struck just before 8 p.m. on on 280 near Cesar Chavez Street, the CHP said. Carolyn Said, SFChronicle.com, "Pedestrian struck, killed on Interstate 280 in SF," 19 Jan. 2020 About three-quarters of its 556 students were economically disadvantaged last year, while about a third are transient and will move during the school year, Smejkal said. Ashley Mcbride, ExpressNews.com, "More high-poverty schools in San Antonio win ‘gold ribbons’," 17 Nov. 2019 He was described by investigators as a transient and former boxer who traveled the country preying on drug addicts, troubled women and others. Anchorage Daily News, "FBI: Inmate is the deadliest serial killer in US history," 8 Oct. 2019 He was clad in a gray shirt and may be a transient. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Two stabbed in North Park, the second victim fended off carjacking," 4 Oct. 2019 According to Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jimmy Lee, Johnson was a transient who apparently hitched rides throughout the state. Rick Hurd, The Mercury News, "Woman found dead in rural East Bay field finally identified.," 13 Sep. 2019

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

1660, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for transient

Adjective and Noun

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

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Time Traveler for transient

Time Traveler

The first known use of transient was in 1599

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Statistics for transient

Last Updated

7 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Transient.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/transient. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for transient

transient

adjective
How to pronounce transient (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of transient

 (Entry 1 of 2)

formal
: not lasting long
: staying somewhere only a short time

transient

noun
How to pronounce transient (audio)

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

chiefly US : 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 How to pronounce transient (audio) \

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 How to pronounce transient (audio) , ˈtranch-ənt How to pronounce transient (audio) \

Medical Definition of transient

: passing away in time : existing temporarily transient symptoms

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Comments on transient

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