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

Keep scrolling for more

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

The topics have loomed over his visit to the North African country, which is currently the biggest transit route for African and Middle Eastern migrants trying to reach Europe. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "Pope Reaches Out to Muslims, Champions Migrants in Morocco," 30 Mar. 2019 Back in 2014, Netflix and transit operators accused ISPs of letting peering points intentionally congest, resulting in mysterious Netflix slowdowns that only resolved once ISPs were paid more money. Karl Bode, The Verge, "How the new AT&T could bully its way to streaming domination," 18 Dec. 2018 Conversely, some people with slower gut transit may find that diets very high in roughage leave them feeling totally backed up, able only to pass hard, dried out stools that come out in incomplete pebbles. SELF, "Why This Registered Dietitian Tells (Some of) Her Patients to Avoid Kale Salads," 30 Nov. 2018 Like other cities that bid on HQ2, New York presented Amazon with a full list of site features, including zoning, the property owners, transit options, amenities and the effective rents. Keiko Morris, WSJ, "New York Touted Real Estate, Eminent Domain in Bid for Amazon," 11 Dec. 2018 Most locations were in metro areas that could support employees, particularly with transit options and airports. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "Amazon will reportedly split its second headquarters between two cities," 5 Nov. 2018 Those highways present a rare alternative to I-35; a recurring theme at a November meeting in New Braunfels between the MPOs’ transportation policy boards was the lack of transit options along the corridor. Jasper Scherer, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio-Austin MPOs working to ready I-35 for population boom," 5 July 2018 Rail service could also stitch together the Valley’s other transit options. Laura J. Nelson,, "The Valley will get light rail: Metro board approves north-south line along Van Nuys Boulevard," 28 June 2018 But some of these transit options work better on paper than in real life. Inga Saffron,, "Will a new riverfront concert venue close the gap between Fishtown and the Delaware - or widen it?," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Planets transiting the Second House reveal changes in resources or self-esteem. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "The 12 Astrological Houses: Interpreting Your Birth Chart Beyond the Zodiac," 6 Oct. 2018 Days after the cancellation, the Pentagon accused a Chinese warship of harassing a U.S. Navy vessel transiting the South China Sea after the Chinese refused a request from the Pentagon to have another American vessel have a port visit in Hong Kong. Gordon Lubold, WSJ, "Top U.S., China Officials Hash Out Differences," 9 Nov. 2018 Moises Gutierrez, deputy executive director for engineering and design, and Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff each apologized to transit riders for the outages, during a board meeting on Thursday. Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times, "Escalators at UW light-rail station keep breaking down; Sound Transit will improve them — and open a staircase," 26 Oct. 2018 However, Beijing demands that foreign navy ships seek its permission before transiting Chinese territorial waters. Andrew Jeong, WSJ, "South Korean Warship Sails by Disputed South China Sea Islands," 28 Sep. 2018 Some people were given documents that gives them 20 days to transit the country on their way to the U.S. border with the stated goal of applying for asylum, according to The Associated Press. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Migrant 'caravan' begins to splinter, 'disperse' after Trump raises alarm," 2 Oct. 2018 When a planet transits its star, some of the starlight passes through the planet's atmosphere before reaching Earth. Harrison Tasoff,, "NASA's TESS Satellite Will Supercharge Search for Nearby, Earth-Like Worlds," 15 Apr. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about transit

Statistics for transit

Last Updated

9 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for transit

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!