transitional

adjective tran·si·tion·al \ tran(t)-ˈsish-nəl , tran(t)-ˈsizh- , tran-ˈzish- ; tran(t)-ˈsi-shə-nᵊl , tran-ˈzi- , -zhə- \
|Updated on: 18 Aug 2018

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

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

Recent Examples of transitional from the Web

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.

First Known Use of transitional

1819

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
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Medical Dictionary

transitional

adjective 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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