trans·​pon·​tine tran(t)s-ˈpän-ˌtīn How to pronounce transpontine (audio)
: situated on the farther side of a bridge
British : situated on the south side of the Thames

Did you know?

Usually the prefix trans-, meaning "across," allows for a reciprocal perspective. Whether you're in Europe or America, for example, transoceanic countries are countries across the ocean from where you are. But that's not the way it originally worked with transpontine. The pont- in transpontine is from the Latin pons, meaning "bridge," and the bridge in this case was, at first, any bridge that crossed the River Thames in the city of London. "Across the bridge" meant on one side of the river only—the south side. That's where the theaters that featured popular melodramas were located, and Victorian Londoners used transpontine to distinguish them from their more respectable cispontine ("situated on the nearer side of a bridge") counterparts north of the Thames.

Word History


trans- + Latin pont-, pons bridge — more at find

First Known Use

1844, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of transpontine was in 1844


Dictionary Entries Near transpontine

Cite this Entry

“Transpontine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

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