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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Economist Joseph Gagnon offers one historical example: Rather than the experience of persistent inflation in the 1970s, the current situation is more like transient inflation in the early 1950s. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "Here’s one market signal that inflation worriers can relax," 26 Feb. 2021 She’s one of several transient characters in the film, who — either by choice or by force — have opted to leave a louder kind of life behind in pursuance of something more financially and environmentally sustainable. Vulture Editors, Vulture, "Real-Life Nomad Linda May on Finally Settling Down After Nomadland," 25 Feb. 2021 But transient fairy circles that change shape over time have not been widely studied. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Forming ‘Fairy Circles’ May Help Salt Marshes Adapt to Climate Change," 25 Feb. 2021 Marine mammal populations are growing, from transient killer whales to porpoises and humpbacks. Anchorage Daily News, "Gray whales learn daring feeding strategy in Puget Sound: Digging for ghost shrimp at high tide," 22 Feb. 2021 In addition to the loss of property taxes generated by the two Residence Inns when they were privately held, the city will no longer collect the transient occupancy tax assessed on every room rented. Jeff Mcdonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego pays top dollar and near-top dollar for hotels to house the homeless," 21 Feb. 2021 As South Lake Tahoe phases out 1,000 short-term rentals this year, its transient occupancy tax revenue will surely take a significant hit. Gregory Thomas, San Francisco Chronicle, "Lake Tahoe cracking down on vacation rentals in 2021 - too many visitors making residents unhappy," 18 Feb. 2021 A week ago, Behrens had no idea that young people all over the world were having TIAs, or transient ischemic attacks, as complications of the novel coronavirus. Emily Wilder, USA TODAY, "'I'm 23 years old and I just had a stroke': Arizona man goes viral after COVID-19 experience," 3 Dec. 2020 A week ago, Behrens had no idea that young people all over the world were having TIAs, or transient ischemic attacks, as complications of the novel coronavirus. Emily Wilder, The Arizona Republic, "'I'm 23 years old and I just had a stroke': Tempe man goes viral after COVID-19 experience," 2 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Another new allegation involves what several athletes called a disregard for the team’s safety after McCabe reported being assaulted by a transient in a public restroom at Himmel Park, where the team trains on a regular basis. Caitlin Schmidt, The Arizona Republic, "Twelve former UA athletes support claims of abusive, neglectful practices in track program," 18 Sep. 2020 Erin Moriarty: What about the transient that everyone describes who looks a lot like Woody Harrelson? Erin Moriarty, CBS News, "Was a Florida man's obsession with a home renovation a motive for murder?," 12 Sep. 2020 He is later identified as a transient who moved to Memphis. Dallas Morning News, "‘Every day is a struggle’: El Paso, one year later," 31 July 2020 Instead, the team suspects that ORCs may be a type of circular spherical wave which appeared in the aftermath of an extra-galactic transient event, like a powerful neutron star merger. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Astronomers Spot Strange Space Object, Have No Idea What It Is," 10 July 2020 The suspect is believed to be a transient that has frequented the area previously. Houston Chronicle, "Memorial Villages Police Department weekly police report," 6 July 2020 The San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Office identified the suspect as Mason James Lira, 26, who officials described as a transient. NBC News, "California police search for suspect after body found, deputy shot," 11 June 2020 Paso Robles Police Chief Ty Lewis said Wednesday afternoon that the person found shot to death near the train station was thought to be possibly a transient from the area camping out overnight. NBC News, "California police search for suspect after body found, deputy shot," 11 June 2020 As the panel heard evidence against a homeless woman accused of lighting another transient on fire, 12 jurors and two alternates sat with a vacant seat separating each of them. Matt Hamilton, Los Angeles Times, "Justice in a time of coronavirus: Scared jurors, delayed trials, court closures," 13 Mar. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about transient

Time Traveler for transient

Time Traveler

The first known use of transient was in 1599

See more words from the same year

Statistics for transient

Last Updated

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Transient.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/transient. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for transient

transient

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of transient

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

transient

noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on transient

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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