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

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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 The company says Ampligen has been generally well tolerated, with the most likely side effect being mild and transitory flu-like symptoms. Sumathi Reddy, WSJ, "Long-Haul Covid Patients Put Hope in Experimental Drugs," 21 Dec. 2020 Brokers say this trend could be transitory and better coverage opportunities might resume quickly if the level of risk perceived by insurance companies changes. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Insurers balk at covering Portland businesses; brokers say downtown upheaval has made carriers wary," 12 Dec. 2020 Ultimately, Jim Bridenstine's legacy will probably depend on whether such funding proves transitory or ultimately does in fact lead to the first woman and the next man landing on the Moon in NASA spacesuits. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Jim Bridenstine is leaving NASA. How should we assess his 30-month tenure?," 11 Nov. 2020 Neue met the challenge by deploying UV markings to create transitory pictures. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "Will pandemic-era travel bubbles be filled with ‘Airspace’?," 10 Nov. 2020 But there are good reasons to think that these negative effects will be mostly transitory. Arkansas Online, "OPINION | NOAH SMITH: Working from home is here to stay," 1 Nov. 2020 As for the transitory architecture of the Mondrianesque, a so-so collage adorns a glass supply company along I-80 in Berkeley. John King,, "Say goodbye to another quirky S.F. landmark — the Mondrian House at Ocean Beach," 27 Oct. 2020 Dillingham said in his statement that the Census Bureau would be letting go of some census workers whose responsibilities were done — such as those counting people living in transitory housing. Mike Schneider, Star Tribune, "Census head says order is being obeyed, but gripes continue," 6 Oct. 2020 The homeless count is starting as the Census Bureau's effort to account for people living in transitory housing winds down at the end of the month. Star Tribune, "Census takers head to homeless shelters, outdoor camps," 22 Sep. 2020

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.

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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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for transitory

Last Updated

25 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

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

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More Definitions for transitory


How to pronounce transitory (audio) How to pronounce transitory (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of transitory

: lasting only for a short time

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