tran·​si·​tion·​al | \ tran(t)-ˈsish-nəl How to pronounce transitional (audio) , tran(t)-ˈsizh-, tran-ˈzish-; tran(t)-ˈsi-shə-nᵊl, tran-ˈzi-, -zhə-\

Definition of transitional

: marked by transition : involving, providing, or consisting of a passage, movement, or change from one state, condition, subject, place, etc., to another a transitional passage in music They are often transitional areas between water environments and dry land, and are populated by many trees and plants that can put up with the occasional flood …— JoAnn Shroyer The social worlds of neighborhood and village are now less important as transitional zones between home and nonhome settings.— Theano S. Terkenli … turning into a civilian coup, that … established a transitional government and prepared the way for multi-party elections.— Larry Diamond … an animal about the size of a turkey that they contend was a flightless bird, a transitional figure between some carnivorous dinosaurs and modern birds.— John Noble Wilford

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Other Words from transitional

transitionally adverb
The problem then is to structure a sequence of reforms that is politically consistent with the social mores of the Soviet Union, economically coherent, and transitionally sound … — Edgar L. Feige

Examples of transitional in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The clean lines and versatility of Louis Philippe mirrors allow them to work well in traditional, transitional or even contemporary settings, making them a perfect fit for just about any home. Elizabeth Pash, House Beautiful, "What to Look for When Shopping for Louis Philippe Mirrors," 10 May 2019 Protesters who spent months demonstrating against Mr. Bashir’s three-decade rule are refusing to accept the military transitional council that toppled him earlier this month. Summer Said, WSJ, "As Sudan Grapples With a Post-Bashir Future, Regional Powers Circle," 27 Apr. 2019 Witherspoon's Madeline outfits her beachfront abode with clean, transitional pieces that blend seamlessly with her heirlooms, while Dern's Renata lets design convey her career woman aesthetic, hard edges and Kondo-esque organization. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "Big Little Lies Season 2 Brings Back Our Favorites Ladies—and Great Decor," 16 Apr. 2019 Removing segments of data from these transitional periods was able to clear matters up considerably. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "How a Second Look At 40-Year-Old Studies Helped Explain Solar Wind," 6 Apr. 2019 Such is the transitional season, although this is a bit extreme. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, "PM Update: Rain and sleet develop in the pre-dawn hours, then wet and icy Tuesday; snow on Wednesday," 19 Mar. 2018 On the other levels, the design is modern transitional with a two-story window wall, open space and tall ceilings. Susan Moskop,, "How do these $2.4 million smart homes stack up?," 17 May 2017 Several housing advocates complained that $17 million that had been earmarked as seed money for such projects has been redirected to pay for temporary homeless solutions, such as shelter tents and a transitional storage center. David Garrick,, "San Diego approves new budget, including most infrastructure spending in city history," 12 June 2018 The deal stipulates two transitional periods, one technical and one political. Konstantin Testorides, The Seattle Times, "Macedonia’s name change – what does the country have to do?," 28 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'transitional.' 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 transitional

1819, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for transitional

Last Updated

26 May 2019

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Time Traveler for transitional

The first known use of transitional was in 1819

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More Definitions for transitional


tran·​si·​tion·​al | \ -ˈish-nəl, -ˈizh-ən-ᵊl\

Medical Definition of transitional

1 : of, relating to, or characterized by transition
2 : of, relating to, or being epithelium (as in the urinary bladder) that consists of several layers of soft cuboidal cells which become flattened when stretched (as when the bladder is distended)

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More from Merriam-Webster on transitional

Spanish Central: Translation of transitional

Nglish: Translation of transitional for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of transitional for Arabic Speakers

Comments on transitional

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a strong desire or propensity

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