tran·​si·​tion·​al | \tran(t)-ˈsish-nəl, 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

It was made during a pretty transitional time for the band and is a documentation of that time. Michael Schwartz, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Brooklyn Escape with Indie Band Wet," 23 Sep. 2018 The program’s support extends post-release — women get help with transitional housing, clothing, and substance abuse recovery if needed. Carlos Chavarría, Allure, "How Prison Salons Are Doing More Than Just Making Inmates Look Good," 18 July 2018 Kiir and Machar are in talks that are expected to yield an agreement that will bring them back together for a second time in a transitional government aimed at ushering in democratic elections. Okech Francis,, "South Sudan Fighting After Cease-Fire Leaves at Least 15 Dead," 30 June 2018 The warring sides in South Sudan’s civil war signed a permanent ceasefire, which calls for a transitional government to be created within four months and to govern for three years. The Economist, "Politics this week," 28 June 2018 Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler will take over, though acting directors are inherently transitional and thus less powerful. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Pruitt Drowns in the Swamp," 5 July 2018 Our show could be seen as a metaphor for the transitional relationship between technology and humans in that people are becoming more and more enslaved by technology. Billboard Japan, Billboard, "Japan's 'Scary Beauty' Android Opera is a Metaphor for Our Relationship with Tech: Interview," 2 July 2018 Reached Saturday, Scott's campaign directed a reporter to a statement the governor released Friday after Nelson tried to work from the Senate floor to extend transitional housing. David Smiley, miamiherald, "Rick Scott is making headway in the battle for Puerto Rican voters, new poll finds," 30 June 2018 Lazarus House provides shelter, food, clothing, and transitional assistance to people in poverty and crisis., "A new police policy, a college fair, and kids making a difference," 28 June 2018

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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Last Updated

24 Nov 2018

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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

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to enclose within walls

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