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 Yemeni women led the change in the peaceful revolution, and also in the transitional period. Joseph Hincks, Time, "She Helped Launch Yemen's Revolution. 10 Years On, Tawakkol Karman Still Believes Change Is Possible," 15 Jan. 2021 Then, at that same midnight, the transitional one-year period between the formal departure of Britain from the EU (i.e., Brexit) and its practical implementation will be complete. John O'sullivan, National Review, "Life after Brexit," 30 Dec. 2020 His party won that election, and the majority, as a result and the U.K. formally left in January this year -- moving the U.K. into a transitional period until the end of the year to allow for negotiators to thrash out a free trade deal. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Boris Johnson says UK has 'taken back control' after securing post-Brexit trade deal with EU," 25 Dec. 2020 Britain left the European Union on Jan. 31 and has been in a transitional period applying most EU economic regulations. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Prosperity After Brexit," 24 Dec. 2020 The transitional period was an emotional and challenging battle forthe organization, according to Meeker. Katelyn Keenehan, The Arizona Republic, "'A community of hope': Phoenix Children's Chorus is back, with hula hoops and masks," 30 Nov. 2020 The Assembly legislation calls for lengthening the transitional period until a full, recreational marketplace is in place from 18 months to two years. Mike Catalini,, "NJ cannabis bill advances, but lawmakers differ on details," 20 Nov. 2020 Graham Mertz tested positive on Oct. 24 but is currently in the seven-day transitional period and could practice late this week. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Badgers coordinators Leonhard and Rudolph prepping to be short-handed against Michigan because of COVID-19," 11 Nov. 2020 No fossils can be found from the key transitional period at the site because the layers that once might have held them have vanished. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, "To Adapt to a Changing Environment 400,000 Years Ago, Early Humans Developed New Tools and Behaviors," 21 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for transitional

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The first known use of transitional was in 1819

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Statistics for transitional

Last Updated

22 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Transitional.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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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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