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 Walker, like many others considered homeless, is in a transitional period in his life. Segann March,, "Colder nights, fewer beds make it hard for the homeless this season," 15 Nov. 2019 And Johnson’s plan allows for only a transitional period ending in 14 months, although this could be extended for a maximum of two years., "British lawmakers disrupt prime minister’s Brexit plan - The Boston Globe," 20 Oct. 2019 Barcelona were going through a painful transitional phase at that time anyway and when Frank Rijkaard arrived at the club at the start of the summer of 2003, the side were without a La Liga title in five seasons., "Andrés Iniesta: The Enigmatic Architect Behind the Best Barcelona Team in Modern History," 7 Oct. 2019 Their roster is stuck in the midst of an awkward transitional phase, trying to mesh a veteran core and budding prospect pool. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, "Kings looking for a season of positives after a year of gloom," 4 Oct. 2019 The tests the researchers plan to do include studying the biological effects of the transitional phase from gravity to microgravity on the human body and better understanding the chemistry of green fuels. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Italy signs an agreement to fly on VSS Unity for research missions," 2 Oct. 2019 The scenes are striking, capturing Walker early in a transitional phase. Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle, "Folk legend Jack Elliott rambles onto the big screen and into town," 3 Sep. 2019 And yet, despite the despondency evident in this transitional phase, the record has plenty of optimism about the future. Carrie Battan, The New Yorker, "Brockhampton Grows Up," 2 Sep. 2019 For the deal’s supporters, transitional justice is a painful compromise that made peace possible. The Economist, "Will Colombia return to war?," 5 Sep. 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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Time Traveler for transitional

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The first known use of transitional was in 1819

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Last Updated

24 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Transitional.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 5 December 2019.

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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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