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

Noun the problems of urban transit Verb once you transit that stretch of dense woods, the hiking should be much easier
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Several transit agencies operate over the corridor, including NJ Transit in New Jersey and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) in Pennsylvania and Delaware. Todd Defeo, Washington Examiner, "Amtrak wants billions in additional funding for the Northeast Corridor," 13 Oct. 2020 That has persisted even as states, cities and transit agencies have been upended by the pandemic’s financial toll, with yields holding effectively unchanged during all of August before ticking up slightly this month. Amanda Albright,, "BlackRock, Wells See Muni-Sales Surge, Election Shattering Calm," 8 Oct. 2020 In 2017, American transit agencies spent $7 billion on rail car purchases and projects. Washington Post, "Metro selects Hitachi Rail to build its next-generation rail car," 6 Oct. 2020 Like most transit agencies, Metrolink enacted strict protocols when the pandemic broke out. Tim Harlow, Star Tribune, "In fight against COVID-19, Plymouth Metrolink installs air-purifying technology on buses," 2 Oct. 2020 Last month, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission included a clause in a regional plan that would require companies to keep 60% of employees working from home, which transit agencies fear could be a death knell. Mallory Moench,, "Caltrain adopts budget through end of 2020, faces shortfall of millions," 1 Oct. 2020 The program also offers rebates on charging equipment for schools, transit agencies and sites that are located in areas disproportionately affected by air pollution. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, "SDG&E launches $107.4 million program for zero-emission buses, trucks and forklifts," 30 Sep. 2020 Others worried about the ripple effects on lunch spots, transit agencies and other businesses and organizations that rely on revenue from office workers. NBC News, "California's Bay Area may require telecommuting, even after the pandemic wanes," 24 Sep. 2020 For transit agencies in the middle of a pandemic, it’s one of the only ways to solve overcrowding if thousands of people try to pour back into downtown skyscrapers. San Francisco has already seen the return of gridlock in June. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "Americans still aren’t driving to work," 24 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb New touch-free kiosks, UV lighting, and other germ-fighting features will make these depots even safer to transit in this new normal of air travel. Barbara Peterson, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Airports in the U.S.: 2020 Readers' Choice Awards," 6 Oct. 2020 Given enough time to develop the technology, Agarwal believes AVs could attract new riders to transit and reduce costs, positioning agencies for long-term success. David Zipper, Wired, "A Move for Driverless Mass Transit Hits Speed Bumps," 18 Aug. 2020 Not only was this denied, but they were even refused permission to transit Solomon Islands’ waters toward another port of refuge. Herb Mccormick, Popular Science, "Five stories of sailors who weathered COVID-19 out at sea," 17 Aug. 2020 Although the United States-Canada border is closed to all nonessential travel, visitors are able to transit through Canada’s bucolic western region if they are headed to or from Alaska. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "Canada issues stricter guidelines for people traveling through country to get to Alaska," 31 July 2020 The Crystal Serenity then cruises the Nile, stopping at Luxor and transiting the Suez Canal on its way to Greece and Italy. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, "12 Amazing Cruises You Can Book Now for 2021," 31 May 2020 Individuals on vessels with red snapper may not transit Alabama state waters while the Alabama season is closed. al, "Alabama’s 35-day red snapper season begins May 22," 15 May 2020 The ban covers anyone who is traveling from or has transited through China, and will be effective Feb. 3 and last up to 14 days, the government said in a statement Sunday. Peter Vercoe,, "New Zealand Restricts Entry From China Arrivals to Combat Virus," 10 May 2020 Instead, the drug is provided in a form with minimal charge, which can transit across cell membranes. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "First drug known to work against SARS-CoV-2 imaged in action," 1 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for transit

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for transit

Last Updated

19 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Transit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for transit


How to pronounce transit (audio) How to pronounce transit (audio)

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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