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From Middle French transition, from Latin transitio.


  • enPR: trănzĭ'shən, IPA(key): /tɹænˈzɪʃən/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪʃən


transition (countable and uncountable, plural transitions)

  1. The process of change from one form, state, style or place to another.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 12, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      All this was extraordinarily distasteful to Churchill. [] Never before had he felt such repulsion when the vicar displayed his characteristic bluntness or coarseness of speech. In the present connexion—or rather as a transition from the subject that started their conversation—such talk had been distressingly out of place.
    • 1960 June, “Diesel locomotive operation on the Great Eastern Line”, in Trains Illustrated, page 374:
      In a period of transition from steam to diesel, many of the schemes are inevitably of an interim nature and only on full dieselisation will the final pattern be determined and full benefit derived.
    • 2012 November 7, Matt Bai, “Winning a Second Term, Obama Will Confront Familiar Headwinds”, in New York Times[1]:
      So, depending on how he chooses to govern over the next four years, Mr. Obama may yet have a chance to reset the stale debate in Washington, or at least to hasten the transition from one moment to the next. His re-election opens the door further for the post-’60s generation, even if it does not quite clear the room.
  2. A word or phrase connecting one part of a discourse to another.
  3. (music) A brief modulation; a passage connecting two themes.
  4. (music) A change of key.
  5. (genetics) A point mutation in which one base is replaced by another of the same class (purine or pyrimidine); compare transversion.
  6. (some sports) A change from defense to attack, or attack to defense.
  7. (medicine) The onset of the final stage of childbirth.
  8. (education) Professional special education assistance for children or adults in the process of leaving one educational environment or support program for another to relatively more independent living.
  9. (skating) A change between forward and backward motion without stopping.
  10. (LGBT) The process or act of changing from one gender role to another, or of bringing one's outward appearance in line with one's internal gender identity.
  11. (aviation) A published procedure for instrument flight, coming between the departure and en-route phases of flight, or between en-route flight and an approach/landing procedure.

Usage notes[edit]

In the United Kingdom education system, the noun is used to define any move within or between schools, for example, a move from one year group to the next. Contrast with transfer which is used to define a move from one school to another, for example from primary school to secondary school. In the United States education system the, noun is used to define a move from a one phase of an Independent Educational Program (IEP) to another specifically regarding the child's or adult's progress from more or less special educational support to greater independent living.



transition (third-person singular simple present transitions, present participle transitioning, simple past and past participle transitioned)

  1. (intransitive) To make a transition.
  2. (transitive) To bring through a transition; to change.
    The soldier was transitioned from a combat role to a strategic role.
  3. (intransitive, LGBT) To change from one gender role to another, or bring one's outward appearance in line with one's internal gender identity.
    • 2006, Taylor J. Holder, All Points in Between: Shifting on the Scale of Sex and Gender, →ISBN:
      Eric told me that after he transitioned, he wanted to learn to fish and all the things his father never taught him.
    • 2009, Julia Serano, Whipping Girl, →ISBN:
      And simply being accepted into one of these programs was not a guarantee that one would be allowed to transition. First, the trans person had to undergo extensive, sometimes indefinite, periods of psychotherapy []
    • 2009, Mara Drummond, Transitions - A Guide To Transitioning For Transsexuals And Their Families, page 71:
      If the transitioning person leaves the family home, there will be moving costs, and costs associated with the acquisition of another home or the renting of an apartment. If the non-transitioning spouse leaves the family home, []
    • 2012, Kevin Alderson, Counseling LGBTI Clients, →ISBN, page 195:
      After he transitioned, he changed jobs so he could go stealth, hoping that no one would discover he was once a woman.

Related terms[edit]




French Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia fr


From Latin trānsitiō.



transition f (plural transitions)

  1. transition

Further reading[edit]