traverse

verb
tra·​verse | \ trə-ˈvərs also tra-ˈvərs or ˈtra-(ˌ)vərs \
traversed; traversing

Definition of traverse

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to go or travel across or over
b : to move or pass along or through light rays traversing a crystal
2 : to make a study of : examine
3 : to lie or extend across : cross the bridge traverses a brook
4a : to move to and fro over or along
b : to ascend, descend, or cross (a slope or gap) at an angle
c : to move (a gun) to right or left on a pivot
5a : to go against or act in opposition to : oppose, thwart
b : to deny (something, such as an allegation of fact or an indictment) formally at law
6 : to make or carry out a survey of by using traverses

intransitive verb

1 : to move back and forth or from side to side
2 : to move or turn laterally : swivel
3a : to climb at an angle or in a zigzag course
b : to ski across rather than straight down a hill
4 : to make a survey by using traverses

traverse

noun
tra·​verse | \ ˈtra-vərs also -ˌvərs, especially for senses 6 and 8 also trə-ˈvərs or tra-ˈvərs\

Definition of traverse (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : something that crosses or lies across
3 : a formal denial of a matter of fact alleged by the opposing party in a legal pleading
4a : a compartment or recess formed by a partition, curtain, or screen
b : a gallery or loft providing access from one side to another in a large building
5 : a route or way across or over: such as
a : a zigzag course of a sailing ship with contrary winds
b : a curving or zigzag way up a steep grade
c : the course followed in traversing
6 : the act or an instance of traversing : crossing
7 : a protective projecting wall or bank of earth in a trench
8a : a lateral movement (as of the saddle of a lathe carriage) also : a device for imparting such movement
b : the lateral movement of a gun about a pivot or on a carriage to change direction of fire
9 : a line surveyed across a plot of ground

traverse

adjective
tra·​verse | \ ˈtra-(ˌ)vərs, trə-ˈvərs, tra-ˈvərs\

Definition of traverse (Entry 3 of 3)

: lying across : transverse

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Other Words from traverse

Verb

traversable \ trə-​ˈvər-​sə-​bəl also  tra-​ˈvər-​ or  ˈtra-​(ˌ)vər-​ \ adjective
traverser noun

Examples of traverse in a Sentence

Verb

The candidates traversed the state throughout the campaign. The river traverses the county.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Inside the Dodgers dugout, as Rich Hill attempted to traverse the final 90 feet of an adventurous trip around the bases in the fourth inning of a 6-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, the reaction segued from amusement to horror. Andy Mccullough, latimes.com, "Dodgers have an eventful 6-4 win over the Pirates," 5 July 2018 The strip takes about 10 minutes to traverse by foot — and is home to arguably San Francisco’s most prolific new restaurant scene. Justin Phillips, San Francisco Chronicle, "Divisadero has become SF’s most prolific new restaurant neighborhood," 8 June 2018 With Mexican Hat, Lee became only the 175th European to traverse both the upper and lower ends of Grand Canyon, and one of the first women. Brett Martin, Outside Online, "Katie Lee, Our Lady of Glen Canyon," 24 May 2018 McManus and filmmaker Justin Balog plan to traverse Iceland from its most northern to its southern tip in August. Dana Oland, idahostatesman, "Boise's fine-dining success story State & Lemp gets new owners and chef. Who is it?," 18 May 2018 Pick up the North Country National Scenic Trail at a trailhead off W. Delta Road (FR 228) to the southwest and hike south to traverse the Rainbow Lake Wilderness. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "4 dining destinations in Wisconsin worth a road trip," 16 May 2018 Without proper ramps, people who use wheelchairs can be forced to travel on the sides of crowded roadways, reroute themselves or get stuck trying to traverse grassy or muddy areas. Gordon R. Friedman, OregonLive.com, "Portland to settle with wheelchair users for $113 million in sidewalk fixes," 10 May 2018 Moreover, if the route from chemistry to biology proves simple to traverse, the universe could be teeming with life. Jack Szostak, Scientific American, "How Did Life Begin?," 8 May 2018 Again, there may have been laws on the books that restricted people from traversing certain boundaries, but actually implementing that prohibition was a different story. Robert Sullivan, Vogue, "What If There Were No Borders?," 30 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

By contrast, Opportunity set a record of traverse distance at around 220 meters on a single Martian day. Jacek Krywko, Ars Technica, "To make Curiosity (et al) more curious, NASA and ESA smarten up AI in space," 16 July 2018 The idea was to design algorithms that would recognize interesting phenomena encountered in the rover's surroundings during traverses and either notify the science team on Earth asking for instructions or examine those phenomena straightaway. Jacek Krywko, Ars Technica, "To make Curiosity (et al) more curious, NASA and ESA smarten up AI in space," 16 July 2018 Highway 20 traverses Clear Lake, Colusa, Yuba City and Nevada City. Julia Sclafani, sacbee, "'We are at a loss': CHP is unsure why this span of highway in Grass Valley is so deadly," 6 July 2018 Shiffrin was the 19th skier to go down the hill and ended the run 1.98 seconds behind Vonn after looking shaky coming out of the first traverse. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, "Mikaela Shiffrin Wins Silver in Olympic Face-Off With Lindsey Vonn at Women's Alpine Combined Race," 22 Feb. 2018 Kilmer last week helped cut the ribbon on Amtrak's new Freighthouse Square station, within his district, which the new $181 million bypass traverses. Josh Farley, USA TODAY, "Washington officials remain committed to bypass, site of deadly train derailment," 19 Dec. 2017 Analyses by the team, including carbon dating, suggest that the excreta dug up at the Traversette site could date to well within the ballpark of the Punic forces’ traverse. Smithsonian, "How (and Where) Did Hannibal Cross the Alps?," 29 July 2017 The route also crosses seven bridges—including a three-wire bridge and a Tyrolean traverse (basically a horizontal zipline in which climbers clip onto a rope or wire and pull themselves across). Jennifer Billock, Smithsonian, "Climb a 2,500-Rung Ladder Up New Zealand’s Towering Twin Falls," 19 Oct. 2017 The blue swath on my westernmost map — the Bering Strait, endpoint of my traverse — stretches south to encompass my former hometown of Nome. Michael Engelhard, Alaska Dispatch News, "Traversing the Brooks Range, step by revealing step," 9 Sep. 2017

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

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 5a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for traverse

Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French traverser, from Late Latin transversare, from Latin transversus

Noun

Middle English travers, from Anglo-French travers (as in a travers, de travers across), from Latin transversum (as in in transversum set crosswise), neuter of transversus lying across; senses 5–9 in part from traverse entry 1 — more at transverse entry 1

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Statistics for traverse

Last Updated

11 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for traverse

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

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More Definitions for traverse

traverse

verb

English Language Learners Definition of traverse

: to move across (an area)

traverse

verb
tra·​verse | \ trə-ˈvərs \
traversed; traversing

Kids Definition of traverse

: to pass through, across, or over

traverse

noun
tra·​verse | \ ˈtra-ˌvərs, trə-ˈvərs \

Legal Definition of traverse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a denial of a matter of fact alleged in the opposing party's pleadings also : a pleading in which such a denial is made

traverse

transitive verb
tra·​verse | \ trə-ˈvərs, ˈtra-ˌvərs \

Legal Definition of traverse (Entry 2 of 2)

: to deny (as an allegation of fact or an indictment) in a legal proceeding

History and Etymology for traverse

Transitive verb

Anglo-French traverser, literally, to lay across, bar, impede, from Old French, from Late Latin transversare to cross, from Latin transversus lying across

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More from Merriam-Webster on traverse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with traverse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for traverse

Spanish Central: Translation of traverse

Nglish: Translation of traverse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of traverse for Arabic Speakers

Comments on traverse

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