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

For indecisive and transient types, renting tables and couches could cushion the blow of commitment. Boston.com Real Estate, "Millennials and students are swiping right on luxury furniture rentals," 11 Sep. 2019 The council asked city staff to return at a future study session with additional information about short-term rental enforcement, fees and the city’s potential revenue from transient occupancy taxes, which are charged at local lodgings. Priscella Vega, Daily Pilot, "Huntington Beach council explores lifting prohibition on short-term vacation rentals," 6 Sep. 2019 Almost all of them are transient, coming and going as needed, which makes villagers hesitant to trust. USA Today, "Alaska is considered the deadliest state for women. A staggering 59% of women there have experienced violence.," 25 June 2019 RNA virus infections are often acute but transient, coming and going in a relatively short time — as with the flu or the common cold. Quanta Magazine, "Viruses Would Rather Jump to New Hosts Than Evolve With Them," 13 Sep. 2017 The Apollo wastes were dehydrated and effectively sterilized by the lunar environment within hours of being left behind, and the missions would have been impossible without accepting such transient releases. Robert Zubrin, National Review, "‘Tardigrades on the Moon Is Not Good’," 31 Aug. 2019 The city also has a highly transient population, with students changing homes during the school year. Dan Mcgowan, BostonGlobe.com, "More than 50 percent of Providence high school students were chronically absent last year," 26 July 2019 Some business owners in downtown Glendale have said, in the last year, that there has been an increase in the transient population downtown. Jen Fifield, azcentral, "Glendale closes 24-hour public bathrooms downtown after drugs, damage, 'remains of sexual activity' found," 19 July 2019 The moment took on new mystery and wonder, and the import of the opera’s conclusion — a timeless religious sphere quietly swallows up the transient concerns of governments and romances — was suddenly fresh. Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, "Review: Details Matter in Riccardo Muti’s Precise ‘Aida’," 23 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

An officer was flagged down by a citizen who reported that a woman was suffering a medical emergency at a nearby transient camp. oregonlive, "Moonlighting clown builds house in storage unit: Forest Grove police log," 5 Sep. 2019 The fire was started by a transient in a tunnel that runs beneath the structure alongside West St. John Street in downtown San Jose, according to a fire official on the scene. George Avalos, The Mercury News, "Fire erupts next to old downtown San Jose post office, quickly doused," 31 Aug. 2019 The transient who started the fire was transported to a hospital, a fire official said. George Avalos, The Mercury News, "Fire erupts next to old downtown San Jose post office, quickly doused," 31 Aug. 2019 Those residents would then be required to report their earnings and pay what’s known as a transient-occupancy tax — the same tax hotel operators pay. Lila Seidman, Glendale News-Press, "Glendale could implement Airbnb rules this fall," 23 July 2019 Fremont transient Jeffrey Wells, 58, is suspected of arson, inflicting corporal injury, criminal threats and probation violation, police said. Eduardo Medina, SFChronicle.com, "Suspect arrested on suspicion of starting Fremont brush fire," 17 July 2019 The federal suit alleges the officers didn’t arrest the transients for camping on public property and threatening and assaulting others. oregonlive.com, "Violent attack at Poet’s Beach by homeless man spurs suit against city," 17 July 2019 City officials said this population is transient and does not represent an overall increase in the ranks of the city’s homeless. Annie Correal, New York Times, "How the Opioid Crisis Arrived at New York’s Commuter Hubs," 16 July 2019 The suspect is a transient who occasionally comes to the facility. Houston Chronicle, "Memorial Villages Police Department weekly report," 5 Aug. 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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Statistics for transient

Last Updated

3 Oct 2019

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)

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

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Comments on transient

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