tran·​sit | \ ˈtran(t)-sət How to pronounce transit (audio) , ˈtran-zət How to pronounce transit (audio) \

Definition of transit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : conveyance of persons or things from one place to another
(2) : usually local transportation especially of people by public conveyance also : vehicles or a system engaged in such transportation
b : an act, process, or instance of passing through or over
2a : passage of a celestial body over the meridian of a place or through the field of a telescope
b : passage of a smaller body (such as Venus) across the disk of a larger (such as the sun)
3 : a theodolite with the telescope mounted so that it can be transited


transited; transiting; transits

Definition of transit (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to make a transit

transitive verb

1a : to pass over or through
b : to cause to pass over or through
2 : to pass across (a meridian, a celestial body, or the field of view of a telescope)
3 : to turn (a telescope) over about the horizontal transverse axis in surveying

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Examples of transit in a Sentence


the problems of urban transit


once you transit that stretch of dense woods, the hiking should be much easier

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

According to Walk Score’s assessment, this location is friendly for those on foot, is convenient for biking and has some transit options. Hoodline, The Mercury News, "Renting in Sunnyvale: What you can find for $2,800," 9 July 2019 Check here for parking and transit options ($10-$20) and the clear-bag policy: Details: 5-10:30 p.m. Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway. azcentral, "Here's where (and when) to see July 4th fireworks in Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Glendale and more," 26 June 2019 These travel aggregators sift through hundreds of listings from transportation companies and display transit options for each mode of travel sortable by price, time and transfers. Aric Jenkins, New York Times, "Visiting Europe? Consider a Bus Tour," 11 June 2019 In addition, Google Maps is also launching live traffic delays for buses in places where commuters don’t already have real-time information direct from local transit agencies. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Google will now tell you how crowded your bus or train is likely to be," 27 June 2019 To say the third train car will alleviate bursting-at-the-seams rush-hour commutes is an understatement, said Gary Thomas, the transit agency's executive director. Emma Ruby, Dallas News, "$60 million federal grant will help DART extend platforms, ease crowding on Red and Blue lines," 27 June 2019 The goal is to have every resident live within a 20-minute walk of a node, which would be a suitable location for a grocery, coffee shop, housing, transit station and other amenities. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "St. Paul’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan heads to Met Council. Here’s what’s in it.," 25 June 2019 Why the chargers are needed More transit agencies throughout the country are replacing diesel buses with electric ones to move toward zero emission fleets. Kellie Hwang, Indianapolis Star, "IndyGo says it has a fix for Red Line buses that don't go the distance. Here's how it's worked elsewhere.," 3 May 2019 Another step in the right direction is Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent proposal to penalize cities that fail to meet affordability goals by withholding state money for road and transit improvements. Michael Greenberg, The New York Review of Books, "Building in Berkeley," 21 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Trump administration also hoped a strapped Iran would become less capable of funding terrorist operations in the Middle East and beyond, proxy wars in the Persian Gulf, and the opportune harassment of ships transiting the Strait of Hormuz. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "U.S. Holds All the Cards in the Showdown with Iran," 20 June 2019 But creating a new agency merely led to the next set of roadblocks to transit in Colorado. John Aguilar, The Denver Post, "RTD at 50: The freeway fight that paved the way for transit in metro Denver," 29 June 2019 Jerry Brown from applying his pension law changes to transit workers. Daniel Borenstein, The Mercury News, "Borenstein: CalPERS must stop transit workers’ pension windfall," 18 June 2019 Migrants were transiting through the United States to get to Canada to apply for asylum. Time, "President Trump Wants Asylum Seekers to Stay in Mexico. Here's How That Would Work," 10 June 2019 Those vessels have not transited the Strait of Hormuz, an effort to avoid further tension. The Economist, "Who is blowing up ships in the Gulf?," 13 June 2019 At a news conference on Tuesday morning, officials said the second group of four boys brought out Monday are healthy, and that there are no bats inside the cave so there are no animals that can transit any diseases. Fox News, "Entire Thai soccer team, coach freed from cave after daring rescue, Navy says," 10 July 2018 The weak wave of low pressure coupled with a high altitude disturbance should transit our region, out of Pennsylvania, overnight, driving a cool front through. Jeff Halverson, Washington Post, "Heavy showers and storms may target Washington region around sunset," 20 June 2018 According to the Navy Times, the Fitzgerald’s Voyager Management System, a navigational aid designed to assist the crew in transiting busy waters, was broken and cannibalized to keep other systems running. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Secret Probe Into USS Fitzgerald Disaster Revealed a Ship in Appalling Shape," 14 Jan. 2019

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b


15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for transit


Middle English transite, from Latin transitus, from transire to go across, pass

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Statistics for transit

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for transit

The first known use of transit was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for transit



English Language Learners Definition of transit

: the act of moving people or things from one place to another


tran·​sit | \ ˈtran-sət How to pronounce transit (audio) , -zət\

Kids Definition of transit

1 : the act of passing through or across the transit of a satellite's signals
2 : the act or method of carrying things from one place to another The goods were lost in transit.
3 : local transportation of people in public vehicles
4 : a surveyor's instrument for measuring angles

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Comments on transit

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


characterized by aphorism

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