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From Middle French transitoire, from Old French, from Latin transitorius.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈtɹæn.zɪ.t(ə)ɹɪ/, /ˈtɹæn.sɪ.t(ə)ɹɪ/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈtɹæn.zɪˌtɔɹ.i/, /ˈtɹæn.sɪˌtɔɹ.i/
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transitory (comparative more transitory, superlative most transitory)

  1. Lasting only a short time; temporary.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:ephemeral
    • 1704, [Jonathan Swift], “Section I. The Introduction.”, in A Tale of a Tub. [], London: [] John Nutt, [], →OCLC, page 34:
      Secondly, That the Materials being very tranſitory, have ſuffered much from Inclemencies of Air, eſpecially in theſe North-Weſt Regions.
    • 1838 March – 1839 October, Charles Dickens, “Comprises certain Particulars arising out of a Visit of Condolence, which may prove important hereafter. Smike unexpectedly encounters a very old Friend, who invites him to his house, and will take no denial.”, in The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, London: Chapman and Hall, [], published 1839, →OCLC, page 366:
      Quite unconscious of the demonstrations of their amorous neighbour, or their effects upon the susceptible bosom of her mama, Kate Nickleby had, by this time begun to enjoy a settled feeling of tranquillity and happiness, to which, even in occasional and transitory glimpses, she had long been a stranger.
    • 1922, F[rancis] Scott Fitzgerald, “A Matter of Æsthetics”, in The Beautiful and Damned, New York, N.Y.: Charles Scribner’s Sons, →OCLC, book 3, page 359:
      For a moment she paused by the taxi-stand and watched them—wondering that but a few years before she had been of their number, ever setting out for a radiant Somewhere, always just about to have that ultimate passionate adventure for which the girls' cloaks were delicate and beautifully furred, for which their cheeks were painted and their hearts higher than the transitory dome of pleasure that would engulf them, coiffure, cloak, and all.
  2. (law) Of an action: that may be brought in any county
    Antonym: local

Related terms[edit]