tran·​som | \ˈtran(t)-səm \

Definition of transom 

1 : a window above a door or other window built on and commonly hinged to a transom

2 : a transverse piece in a structure : crosspiece: such as

a : lintel

b : a horizontal crossbar in a window, over a door, or between a door and a window or fanlight above it

c : the horizontal bar or member of a cross or gallows

d : any of several transverse timbers or beams secured to the sternpost of a boat also : the planking forming the stern of a square-ended boat

over the transom

: without solicitation or prior arrangement the manuscript arrived over the transom

Illustration of transom

Illustration of transom

T transom 1

Examples of transom in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Measuring 1,755 square feet, five large transom windows face the river and allow for plenty of light in the living room and dining room. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Midcentury fixer upper right outside of NYC asks $469K," 29 Aug. 2018 With this new handshake, WPA3 supports forward secrecy, meaning that any traffic that came across your transom before an outsider gained access will remain encrypted. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "The Next Generation of Wi-Fi Security Will Save You From Yourself," 26 June 2018 There are double French doors, showcased by transom windows, for easy entry to the outside. Karen A. Avitabile,, "Property of the Week: 56 Old Stone Crossing, West Hartford," 3 Aug. 2017 Barron, who kept an eye on everything going on in the back of the 54-foot Carolina boat, was always ready with the gaff whenever one of us had a fish that big coming close to the transom. Steve Waters, miamiherald, "“Mahi Madness:” Some tips on taking advantage of Dolphin fishing in the Florida Keys | Miami Herald," 18 May 2018 Doubled over the transom, John casually does likewise. Ben Lowy, Smithsonian, "The Lionfish Have Invaded, But a Ragtag Army of Divers and Chefs Are Fighting Back," 23 May 2018 More from Mansion A study has paneling replicated from the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta, and a great room has a handmade leaded glass transom window. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "Baseball’s Tom Glavine Lists Longtime Atlanta Home," 21 May 2018 Almost as fast as mate Hunter Barron could cast a live pilchard behind the transom of Catch 22, that’s how quickly a dolphin was hooked up and pulling line off the reel. Steve Waters, miamiherald, "“Mahi Madness:” Some tips on taking advantage of Dolphin fishing in the Florida Keys | Miami Herald," 18 May 2018 Despite its relatively young age, the house incorporates touches of the past, including transom windows on interior doorways and multiple fireplaces. Maureen C. Gilmer, Indianapolis Star, "Hot Property: New kid on the block blends in with historic Meridian Street homes," 4 May 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of transom

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for transom

Middle English transyn, traunsom, probably alteration of traversayn, from Middle French travessain, from Old French traversain set crosswise, from Vulgar Latin *traversanus, from Latin transversus transverse

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about transom

Statistics for transom

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for transom

The first known use of transom was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for transom



English Language Learners Definition of transom

: a small window that is above a door or larger window

: a stone or wooden bar that goes across the top of a door or window


tran·​som | \ˈtran-səm \

Kids Definition of transom

1 : a piece that lies crosswise in a structure (as in the frame of a window or of a door that has a window above it)

2 : a window above a door or another window

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on transom

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with transom

Spanish Central: Translation of transom

Nglish: Translation of transom for Spanish Speakers

Comments on transom

What made you want to look up transom? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


amusing and light sparring with words

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!