traverse

verb
tra·​verse | \ trə-ˈvərs How to pronounce traverse (audio) also tra-ˈvərs or ˈtra-(ˌ)vərs How to pronounce traverse (audio) \
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 How to pronounce traverse (audio) also -ˌvərs, especially for senses 6 and 8 also trə-ˈvərs How to pronounce traverse (audio) 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 How to pronounce traverse (audio) , trə-ˈvərs How to pronounce traverse (audio) , 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 How to pronounce traversable (audio) 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 The contract also includes a portion east of Nogales where the Santa Cruz River traverses the border. Nick Miroff, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump’s preferred construction firm lands $1.3 billion border wall contact, the biggest so far," 20 May 2020 And residents came together to traversed treacherous roads to deliver sheltered evacuees food, and the governor took a moment in Midland during her otherwise serious media briefing to lightheartedly remind everyone to keep their distance. Angie Jackson, Detroit Free Press, "Mid-Michigan's catastrophic flooding adds to state's pandemic woes," 20 May 2020 Set more than seven years after an attempt to reverse climate change resulted in a cataclysmic global freeze, the series takes place almost entirely on a huge continents-traversing train called Snowpiercer. Clark Collis, EW.com, "Hamilton star Daveed Diggs has 'complicated' feelings about watching the movie version," 19 May 2020 Digging into a towering stack of pancakes at Casa Sedona Inn is the perfect way to load up on carbs before traversing the red-rock buttes on foot. Macy Sirmans, Travel + Leisure, "Everything You Need to See, Do, and Eat on an Arizona Road Trip," 19 May 2020 Commuters who did go in traversed deserted streets to arrive at empty offices as local government decrees extending the Lunar New Year break to 17 days expired. Bloomberg.com, "China’s Virus-Hit Cities Remain World’s Biggest Ghost Towns," 15 May 2020 The grandson and grandfather duo are back to their crazy antics traversing time and space for the rest of this season, which has five episodes on the way. Katey Clifford, cleveland, "‘Rick and Morty’ season four | How to watch, live stream, TV channel, time," 3 May 2020 The camp stood on a strategic intersection of the M4 highway, which traverses Syria from the Mediterranean Sea to its border with Iraq. Luke Mogelson, The New Yorker, "America’s Abandonment of Syria," 20 Apr. 2020 But years of warm weather have now melted much of that snow and ice, revealing a mountain pass that mere mortals traversed for more than 1,000 years—and then abandoned about 500 years ago. Tom Metcalfe, Scientific American, "Melting Ice Reveals a “Lost” Viking-Era Pass in Norway’s Mountains," 16 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Exit name comes from the pioneering 1968 ski traverse across the Harding Icefield by an expedition party that included Alaska homesteader Yule Kilcher, the grandfather of singer Jewel Kilcher. Yereth Rosen, Anchorage Daily News, "Retreating Exit Glacier has become an icon of climate change," 4 Aug. 2017 The second line, after a swift traverse across the pistes, went down a tall mogul field under a crag, followed by more difficult passages through trees. Simon Akam, Outside Online, "You Won’t Pass Chamonix’s Mountain Guiding Test," 27 Nov. 2019 The test involved various traverses on steep ice that gauged candidates’ skills with crampons and ice axes. Simon Akam, Outside Online, "You Won’t Pass Chamonix’s Mountain Guiding Test," 27 Nov. 2019 The locals don’t stand for lollygagging on the single-file traverse. Megan Michelson, Outside Online, "36 Hours in Your Favorite North American Ski Towns," 6 Jan. 2020 Kovacs’s favorite is the Overland Track, a six-day traverse of Cradle Mountain–Lake St. Clair National Park. Ewen Bell, National Geographic, "What makes Tasmania an outdoor lover’s dream?," 29 Dec. 2019 The crew of the Iskatel began the expedition with a traverse of Lake Baikal, one of the largest lakes on Earth, and from there followed the winding river networks of eastern Siberia to the Sea of Okhotsk. Garland Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "Russian retraces historic route to Sitka," 9 Sep. 2019 Competitors navigated their way through mud pits, over a traverse wall and across a balance beam. Daniel I. Dorfman, chicagotribune.com, "Glencoe’s Great Mud Run makes a mess: ‘It is just part of growing up’," 16 Sep. 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for traverse

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for traverse

Last Updated

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Traverse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/traverse. Accessed 30 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for traverse

traverse

verb
How to pronounce traverse (audio) How to pronounce traverse (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of traverse

somewhat formal : to move across (an area)

traverse

verb
tra·​verse | \ trə-ˈvərs How to pronounce traverse (audio) \
traversed; traversing

Kids Definition of traverse

: to pass through, across, or over

traverse

noun
tra·​verse | \ ˈtra-ˌvərs, trə-ˈvərs How to pronounce traverse (audio) \

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
tra·​verse | \ trə-ˈvərs, ˈtra-ˌvərs How to pronounce traverse (audio) \

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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Comments on traverse

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