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

Its housing stock — much of it built in the late 18th and early 19th century — has been affected by the expanding transit system, economic downturns and real estate speculation. Elizabeth Chang, Twin Cities, "Harlem’s 125th Street is the gateway to new corners of Manhattan," 3 Aug. 2019 Charleston’s transit system received money for two electric buses and charging stations. USA TODAY, "Milestone rhino, Bigfoot shooting, jailed for feeding cats: News from around our 50 states," 1 Aug. 2019 South Florida desperately needs a better transit system. Dan Sweeney,, "Readers favor a Broward-Dade monorail, though many want an east-west option," 1 Aug. 2019 Cities like Denver and Seattle are improving their transit systems. Trae Bodge, House Beautiful, "Here's Why That Neighborhood Is So Expensive," 31 July 2019 Rochling Glastic Composites is a manufacturer of rigid insulation for the fabrication of electrical equipment, including transformers, motors, switchgear and electrical infrastructures for light rail transit systems., "Glenridge land in South Euclid cleared for Glastic building extension," 23 July 2019 In Washington, the transit system has disrupted commutes by shutting six stations all summer for repairs. Jon Kamp, WSJ, "Boston’s Frustrations With Transit Mount After Derailment," 11 July 2019 Details may differ from place to place, and certainly some transit systems suffer funding problems or other challenges. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "My trip to foreign city was reminder Detroit's transit system needs work," 13 June 2019 Just glancing at a map of the transit system conjures a diagram of neurons in the human brain. Neil Shea, National Geographic, "Tokyo became a megacity by reinventing itself," 12 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The state doesn’t lack money to try out new ideas for bus routes and mobility hubs, since lawmakers dedicated extra one-time money to transit, in addition to existing funding. Jon Murray, The Denver Post, "Colorado transportation leaders are banking on buses and trains as population surges," 5 Aug. 2019 There are just two main highways transiting Yakutia, with the one built mostly by Gulag prisoners under Communism still largely unpaved. Neil Macfarquhar, New York Times, "Russian Land of Permafrost and Mammoths Is Thawing," 4 Aug. 2019 Of the planet candidates found by Kruse and his team, 154 belong to an intriguing group known as reciprocally transiting planets. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, "One Search to (Almost) Rule Them All: Hundreds of Hidden Planets Found in Kepler Data," 2 Aug. 2019 The Pentagon said Thursday's incident happened at 10 a.m. local time in international waters while the Boxer was transiting the waterway to enter the Persian Gulf. Amir Vahdat And David Rising,, "Iran denies Trump’s claim that U.S. shot down Iranian drone," 19 July 2019 The Pentagon said Thursday's incident happened at 10 a.m. local time in international waters while the Boxer was transiting the waterway to enter the Persian Gulf. Robert Burns, Fortune, "Trump Says U.S. Destroyed Iranian Drone. Iran Says It Didn’t Happen," 19 July 2019 Our city government recently joined long-standing efforts by San Antonio faith groups and charities to assist migrants transiting through South Texas. Elaine Ayala,, "San Antonio officials, news media fight fear with facts," 14 June 2019 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

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

13 Aug 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).


a period when something is suspended

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