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 Voters last year rejected an effort to boost transit in the corridor. David Wickert, ajc, "Is there a fix for I-85 traffic?," 8 Feb. 2020 The transit agency is running shuttle buses are between the 7th Avenue stop and the Gateway Transit Center. The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Major MAX delays snarl rush hour traffic," 7 Feb. 2020 For many people with disabilities, most of New York City is a transit desert. Claire Perlman, ProPublica, "Paratransit Services in New York City Are Severely Limited and Unpredictable. They Still Cost $614 Million a Year.," 6 Feb. 2020 In some markets, women-only transit cars will be identified. Lauren Goode, Wired, "Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai on Maps, AI, Ads, and Ambient Navigation," 6 Feb. 2020 Singapore Singapore has blocked the entry and transit of people who had traveled to mainland China in the previous 14 days, starting from Feb. 1. Matt Turner, Fortune, "These countries have imposed China travel restrictions over the coronavirus," 6 Feb. 2020 An extra $30 million for transit and rail programs, plus $30 million extra for airport improvements. $1 million to improve access to contraceptive services. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Whitmer budget revives Pure Michigan, boosts schools and environment," 6 Feb. 2020 The Arctic channel would save them 13,000 miles in transit distance, said subcommittee Chairman Lou Correa, a California Democrat. Anna Giaritelli, Washington Examiner, "China and Russia taking advantage of global warming to elbow US aside in the Arctic," 5 Feb. 2020 Sendy is on a mission to improve the ease of trade and transit across Africa says Meshack Alloys, chief executive and co-founder of Sendy. Oluwatosin Adeshokan, Quartz Africa, "Toyota is making a small bet on a big opportunity in African mobility startups," 5 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Airline officials said most of the passengers were en route to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, transiting through there to other destinations. Dallas News, "Ukrainian airliner crashes near Tehran, killing all 176 on board," 8 Jan. 2020 The city has lately taken a sharply different tack than Kansas City, increasing policing to crack down on fare evaders that transit officials expect will cost $300 million this year. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Kansas City to be first major U.S. city to get rid of bus fares," 18 Dec. 2019 Moving the 50 bombs would require dismantling the security systems and transiting them to a flight line under Turkish control. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Could Someone Actually Steal a U.S. Nuke?," 25 Oct. 2019 Such challenges have included proving that the asylum seeker transited the safe country in the first place. New York Times, "The U.S. and Guatemala Reached an Asylum Deal: Here’s What It Means," 28 July 2019 Much of this was aimed at deterring terrorists transiting the Emirates, but the risk of attacks inside the country was also real. New York Times, "Mohammed bin Zayed’s Dark Vision of the Middle East’s Future," 9 Jan. 2020 The cooling system is critical for operation of the heart of AMS—nine layers of silicon trackers that measure the trajectory and electrical charge of transiting particles. Irene Klotz, Scientific American, "Space Station Dark Matter Experiment Gets Vital Repairs," 11 Dec. 2019 The ban on asylum for migrants who transited a third country itself is being challenged in a separate lawsuit that will have its next hearing in December. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Attorneys challenge third-country asylum ban effects on migrants who were ‘metered’ under other US policy," 26 Sep. 2019 In many instances, our line of sight is aligned so that telescopes on Earth can detect the tiny dips in starlight as an exoplanet transits its host star. Andrew Fazekas, National Geographic, "See Mercury glide across the sun in rare sky show," 8 Nov. 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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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

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Transit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 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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