tran·​si·​to·​ry | \ ˈtran(t)-sə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce transitory (audio) , ˈtran-zə- How to pronounce transitory (audio) \

Definition of transitory

1 : of brief duration : temporary the transitory nature of earthly joy
2 : tending to pass away : not persistent

Other Words from transitory

transitorily \ ˌtran(t)-​sə-​ˈtȯr-​ə-​lē How to pronounce transitory (audio) , ˌtran-​zə-​ \ adverb
transitoriness \ ˈtran(t)-​sə-​ˌtȯr-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce transitory (audio) , ˈtran-​zə-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for transitory

transient, transitory, ephemeral, momentary, fugitive, fleeting, evanescent mean lasting or staying only a short time. transient applies to what is actually short in its duration or stay. a hotel catering primarily to transient guests transitory applies to what is by its nature or essence bound to change, pass, or come to an end. fame in the movies is transitory ephemeral implies striking brevity of life or duration. many slang words are ephemeral momentary suggests coming and going quickly and therefore being merely a brief interruption of a more enduring state. my feelings of guilt were only momentary fugitive and fleeting imply passing so quickly as to make apprehending difficult. let a fugitive smile flit across his face fleeting moments of joy evanescent suggests a quick vanishing and an airy or fragile quality. the story has an evanescent touch of whimsy that is lost in translation

Examples of transitory in a Sentence

the transitory nature of earthly pleasures
Recent Examples on the Web Inflation is transitory and price increases should be temporary. Nicole Goodkind, CNN, 8 May 2022 Various passengers, led by Neel Kashkari of the Minneapolis Fed, have been distracting the driver by insisting the fog is merely transitory while nattering about policies that have nothing to do with the task ahead. WSJ, 1 May 2022 But that honeymoon only ends well if inflation is transitory, or temporary. Gabriel T. Rubin, WSJ, 10 Dec. 2021 Some look very nearly like institutions — registered as 501(c)(3)s with boards of directors and bylaws and membership dues; others are informal, improvised, even transitory. New York Times, 13 Oct. 2021 Major said a big takeaway from recent numbers is that inflation is not transitory, as members of the Biden administration and Federal Reserve officials had originally predicted. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Apr. 2022 The Fed and most on Wall Street were saying that inflation was transitory and that the supply chains would restore themselves. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 23 Mar. 2022 However, some suggest that inflation is not transitory at all. - Make Genius Money Moves, Forbes, 18 Mar. 2022 The Federal Reserve in ways reminiscent of the 1970s proclaimed that inflation was transitory and isolated to a few sectors even as labor shortages became unprecedentedly severe and pervasive. Lawrence H. Summers, Time, 17 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'transitory.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of transitory

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for transitory

Middle English transitorie, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin transitorius, from Latin, of or allowing passage, from transire

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Time Traveler for transitory

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The first known use of transitory was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near transitory

transit number


transit privileges

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Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Transitory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on transitory

Nglish: Translation of transitory for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of transitory for Arabic Speakers


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