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

Readers rant about driving traffic reporters, rave about PBS promotion RANT To the early-morning weekday newscast that has a reporter and driver traversing around the area telling us how traffic is flowing. Seattle Times Readers, The Seattle Times, "Rant & Rave: Educational, entertaining public TV," 14 Sep. 2018 The course, which traverses through Italy, Switzerland, and France, is both breathtaking and brutal. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "5 Things to Know About the 106-Mile Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc Race," 4 Sep. 2018 While traversing through the Maras salt mines, the de Betaks listened to the World Cup Final on a handheld radio. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Sofía Sanchez de Betak’s Colorful, Whirlwind Journey Through Peru," 10 Aug. 2018 Cyclists will begin at the American Legion Post #60, traverse Big Creek Summit along Warm Lake Highway, and turn off to travel along the the scenic South Fork of the Salmon River. Michelle Jenkins, idahostatesman, "Big July Calendar: Month is lit with fireworks, comic con and the Canyon County Fair," 28 June 2018 There's also good glacier viewing — and traversing — on the multiday Mint-Bomber Traverse for more advanced outdoor explorers. Laurel Andrews, Anchorage Daily News, "11 glacier adventures near Anchorage," 2 May 2018 Since March a census team has been traversing Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, collecting the gorillas’ dung and examining their nests for hair samples and other clues. Washington Post, "Uganda counts gorillas amid tourism-boosting ‘baby boom’," 25 Apr. 2018 Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon The legendary 3-part races traversing numerous San Francisco neighborhoods and landmarks. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Events listings," 31 May 2018 There are footraces that cross deserts, traverse tall mountains and even go greater distances than Barkley's 100 or 130 or so miles. David G. Allan, CNN, "The infamous murderer's prison escape that inspired a near-impossible ultramarathon," 26 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 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

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

15 Nov 2018

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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