Synonym Chooser

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

Some common synonyms of transitory are ephemeral, evanescent, fleeting, fugitive, momentary, and transient. While all these words mean "lasting or staying only a short time," 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

When could ephemeral be used to replace transitory?

Although the words ephemeral and transitory have much in common, ephemeral implies striking brevity of life or duration.

many slang words are ephemeral

When is evanescent a more appropriate choice than transitory?

The meanings of evanescent and transitory largely overlap; 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 transitory?

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

When would momentary be a good substitute for transitory?

While in some cases nearly identical to transitory, 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

In what contexts can transient take the place of transitory?

While the synonyms transient and transitory are close in meaning, transient applies to what is actually short in its duration or stay.

a hotel catering primarily to transient guests

Thesaurus Entries Near transitory

Cite this Entry

“Transitory.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on transitory

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