tran·​sit | \ ˈtran(t)-sət How to pronounce transit (audio) , ˈtran-zət How to pronounce transit (audio) \

Definition of transit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : conveyance of persons or things from one place to another
(2) : usually local transportation especially of people by public conveyance also : vehicles or a system engaged in such transportation
b : an act, process, or instance of passing through or over
2a : passage of a celestial body over the meridian of a place or through the field of a telescope
b : passage of a smaller body (such as Venus) across the disk of a larger (such as the sun)
3 : a theodolite with the telescope mounted so that it can be transited


transited; transiting; transits

Definition of transit (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to make a transit

transitive verb

1a : to pass over or through
b : to cause to pass over or through
2 : to pass across (a meridian, a celestial body, or the field of view of a telescope)
3 : to turn (a telescope) over about the horizontal transverse axis in surveying

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Examples of transit in a Sentence

Noun the problems of urban transit Verb once you transit that stretch of dense woods, the hiking should be much easier
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun By the end of 2020, more than 1,000 should be in service across US transit agencies, a tenfold increase from five years earlier. Nathaniel Horadam, Ars Technica, "Are electric vehicles doomed? We don’t think so, despite poor sales," 27 Apr. 2020 The new Hidden Ridge Station will be located on Meadow Creek Drive near Green Park Drive, according to a press release from the transit agency. Hunter Johnson, Dallas News, "DART to begin construction on new Irving light rail station," 22 Apr. 2020 What purpose this transit system serves is unknown. Kenneth S. Kosik, Scientific American, "Five Types of Research, Underexplored until Recently, Could Produce Alzheimer’s Treatments," 20 Apr. 2020 Activity declined 33% around workplaces, 41% around transit centers like bus and rail stops, and 17% at grocery stores and pharmacies when compared to the same period. Andrew Oxford, azcentral, "Google is tracking Arizonans behavior during coronavirus pandemic. Here's what the company found," 4 Apr. 2020 In New York City, where schools also are closed, officials said Monday that the city will provide child care for the children of first responders such as police and fire workers, health care workers, and transit workers. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Gov. Whitmer orders expansion of child care centers for essential workers," 19 Mar. 2020 While the victim was found at the transit center, Houston police are investigating. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Woman shot in possible domestic dispute at Fifth Ward Taco Bell, police say," 14 Feb. 2020 And with transit systems in major cities notoriously overcrowded, a nervous public may look for alternatives in which social distancing can be maintained. NBC News, "Coronavirus live updates: U.S. deaths top 66,000 as pandemic takes its toll on ordinary Americans," 3 May 2020 Sequencing of these samples back in his lab at Cornell Weill led to the first map of the microbes that call the city’s transit system home. Megan Molteni, Wired, "Microbe Mappers Are Tracking Covid-19's Invisible Traces," 29 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Individuals on vessels with red snapper may not transit Alabama state waters while the Alabama season is closed. al, "Alabama’s 35-day red snapper season begins May 22," 15 May 2020 The ban covers anyone who is traveling from or has transited through China, and will be effective Feb. 3 and last up to 14 days, the government said in a statement Sunday. Peter Vercoe,, "New Zealand Restricts Entry From China Arrivals to Combat Virus," 10 May 2020 Instead, the drug is provided in a form with minimal charge, which can transit across cell membranes. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "First drug known to work against SARS-CoV-2 imaged in action," 1 May 2020 The department's invasive species checkstations remain open for boaters transiting the state. oregonlive, "Hunting, most fishing continue in Oregon, but those venturing out encouraged to stay close to home," 7 Apr. 2020 Additionally, the health ministry has also imposed a compulsory 14-day quarantine period for passengers coming from/transiting through UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "Airlines are in a spot as India further restricts inbound travel amid coronavirus pandemic," 16 Mar. 2020 Our tentative plan after navigating the Drake was to transit Chile and return to the United States. James Mcclintock | Uab Professor, al, "Leaving Antarctica for a COVID-19 world," 17 Apr. 2020 Even if a particular destination country is reporting no additional cases, travelers are still transiting through airports with thousands of other people. Christopher Elliott, USA TODAY, "Planning for life after coronavirus: When will we know it's safe to travel again?," 4 Apr. 2020 That pair of single-track tunnels poses one of the greatest threats to Amtrak’s service and to transit in the metropolitan area and throughout the Northeast. Patrick Mcgeehan, New York Times, "Amtrak, Struggling to Keep Trains Running, Chooses a New Leader," 2 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'transit.' 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 transit


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b


15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for transit


Middle English transite, from Latin transitus, from transire to go across, pass

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Time Traveler for transit

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for transit

Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Transit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for transit


How to pronounce transit (audio) How to pronounce transit (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of transit

: the act of moving people or things from one place to another


tran·​sit | \ ˈtran-sət How to pronounce transit (audio) , -zət \

Kids Definition of transit

1 : the act of passing through or across the transit of a satellite's signals
2 : the act or method of carrying things from one place to another The goods were lost in transit.
3 : local transportation of people in public vehicles
4 : a surveyor's instrument for measuring angles

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