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 Rivera said subsequent talks with the MVRTA resulted in an agreement for the city to pay the transit authority for the lost fares on the route over the next two years., "TODAY Free Bus in Lawrence -," 9 Sep. 2019 Officials from the Hayward Fire Department asked BART to close the station and power off the tracks because of a nearby blaze and downed PG&E power lines near the BART tracks, according to the transit agency. Sarah Ravani,, "South Hayward BART station reopened after nearby fire," 16 Sep. 2019 Metra, along with other transit agencies, waited 10 years for a new capital bill to make major equipment improvements. Mary Wisniewski,, "Metra says it won’t hike fares in 2020, second year in a row without an increase," 9 Sep. 2019 Roberta Altstadt, a TriMet spokeswoman, confirmed the transit agency approached Greyhound two years ago to discuss potentially buying the property. oregonlive, "Portland Greyhound station moves out; terminal site in NW up for sale," 9 Sep. 2019 The e-hailing firm has also been partnering with transit agencies in cities to expand transportation access, decrease car ownership, and reduce congestion. Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, "Uber is working on plans to offer its bus system to Lagos," 6 Sep. 2019 The largest single source of revenue for NCTD and most other California transit agencies is the state’s Transportation Development Act, signed into law by Gov. Ronald Reagan in 1971. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, "New bus, train fares will go into effect countywide on Sunday," 29 Aug. 2019 Birdsong, who is the chief operating officer for Nashville’s transit agency, spoke by telephone with about her priorities, strategies and challenges. Courtney Astolfi,, "Q&A with RTA’s next general manager, India Birdsong," 4 July 2019 Former San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty, 64, now a board director for the regional commuter transit agency, devoured the series. Lee Romney,, "Has Hollywood wised up to San Francisco’s gentrification crisis?," 3 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Mexican asylum applicants, who don’t have to transit through another country to reach the United States, are not impacted by the new policy. New York Times, "‘This Takes Away All Hope’: Rule Bars Most Applicants for Asylum in U.S.," 12 Sep. 2019 Many of the 2,000 companies operating ships in the region have ordered their vessels to transit Hormuz only during the daylight hours and at high speed. Washington Post, "Gulf tanker incidents may raise shippers’ costs, cut traffic," 20 July 2019 At a minimum, the U.S. is likely to use the incidents in pressing allies to send more naval vessels to the region to protect tankers transiting the strait. Los Angeles Times, "Iran says it detained British tanker in Strait of Hormuz as a ‘reciprocal’ move," 19 July 2019 VLCCs have the option of transiting the canal by discharging half their cargo, sending the oil through the Sumed Pipeline, and pick it up again in the Mediterranean, but the pipeline’s owners have refused to accept Iranian crude since 2012. Time, "British Marines Seize Supertanker Carrying Iranian Oil to Syria, Causing Diplomatic Row," 4 July 2019 The Transit Tax, in whole or in part, burdens interstate commerce by treating transiting vessels like floating ATM machines,’’ Boyajian wrote in the suit. oregonlive, "Owners of oceangoing commercial ships sue Port of Astoria, arguing that $300 transit fee is unconstitutional," 14 Sep. 2019 More people switching to transit might explain the growth in super-commuting found in a recent study by Apartment List, said the study’s author, Chris Salviati. Erin Baldassari, The Mercury News, "Bay Area super-commuting growing: Here’s where it’s the worst," 11 Sep. 2019 In short, transiting worlds have proved to be the keystones in the burgeoning search for Earth’s cosmic twins. Lee Billings, Scientific American, "Astronomers Find Water on an Exoplanet Twice the Size of Earth," 11 Sep. 2019 The operations of the fast-growing port are linked to the Gulf of Mexico by a 45-foot-deep channel that allows deep-draft ships to transit relatively shallow Mobile Bay. al, "Plan to enlarge Mobile Ship Channel cleared to proceed," 9 Sep. 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

5 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for transit

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

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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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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 calculated move

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