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Synonym Chooser

How is the word transient different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of transient are ephemeral, evanescent, fleeting, fugitive, momentary, and transitory. While all these words mean "lasting or staying only a short time," transient applies to what is actually short in its duration or stay.

a hotel catering primarily to transient guests

When could ephemeral be used to replace transient?

The synonyms ephemeral and transient are sometimes interchangeable, but ephemeral implies striking brevity of life or duration.

many slang words are ephemeral

Where would evanescent be a reasonable alternative to transient?

In some situations, the words evanescent and transient are roughly equivalent. However, evanescent suggests a quick vanishing and an airy or fragile quality.

the story has an evanescent touch of whimsy that is lost in translation

How do fugitive and fleeting relate to one another, in the sense of transient?

Both fugitive and fleeting imply passing so quickly as to make apprehending difficult.

let a fugitive smile flit across his face
fleeting moments of joy

In what contexts can momentary take the place of transient?

The words momentary and transient are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, momentary suggests coming and going quickly and therefore being merely a brief interruption of a more enduring state.

my feelings of guilt were only momentary

When might transitory be a better fit than transient?

The words transitory and transient can be used in similar contexts, but transitory applies to what is by its nature or essence bound to change, pass, or come to an end.

fame in the movies is transitory

Thesaurus Entries Near transient

Cite this Entry

“Transient.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2023.

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