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Late Middle English, from Latin trānsversus (turned across; going or lying across or crosswise). Doublet of transversal.


  • (adjective):
    • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /tɹanzˈvɜːs/, /tɹɑːnzˈvɜːs/, /tɹansˈvɜːs/, /tɹɑːnsˈvɜːs/
    • (file)
    • (file)
    • (file)
    • (file)
    • (General American) IPA(key): /tɹænsˈvɝs/, /tɹænzˈvɝs/, /ˈtɹænsˌvɝs/, /ˈtɹænzˌvɝs/
  • (noun):
  • (verb):
  • Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)s


transverse (not comparable)

  1. Situated or lying across; side to side, relative to some defined "forward" direction; perpendicular or slanted relative to the "forward" direction; identified with movement across areas.
    Antonym: longitudinal
  2. (anatomy) Made at right angles to the long axis of the body.
  3. (geometry) (of an intersection) Not tangent, so that a nondegenerate angle is formed between the two things intersecting.
  4. (obsolete) Not in direct line of descent; collateral.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



transverse (plural transverses)

  1. Anything that is transverse or athwart.
  2. (geometry) The longer, or transverse, axis of an ellipse.



transverse (third-person singular simple present transverses, present participle transversing, simple past and past participle transversed) (transitive)

  1. To lie or run across; to cross.
  2. To traverse or thwart.
  3. To overturn.
    • 1702, Charles Leslie, The Case of the Regale and of the Pontificate Stated[1], page 226:
      And so long shall her censures, when justly passed, have their effect: how then can they be altered or transversed, suspended or superseded, by a temporal government, that must vanish and come to nothing?
  4. To alter or transform.
  5. (obsolete) To change from prose into verse, or from verse into prose.
    • 1671, Villiers, George, The Rehearsal[3], published 1770, Act 1, Scene 1, page 12:
      Bayes: Why, thus, Sir; nothing so easy when understood; I take a book in my hand, either at home or elsewhere, for that's all one, if there be any wit in't, as there is no book but has some, I transverse it; that is, if it be prose, put it into verse, (but that takes up some time) and if it be verse, put it into prose.



Etymology 1[edit]

From trānsversus (turned across) +‎ (-ly, adverbial suffix).


Alternative forms[edit]


trānsversē (comparative trānsversius, superlative trānsversissimē)

  1. crosswise, transversely, obliquely
    Synonym: trānsversim

Etymology 2[edit]

See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.




  1. vocative masculine singular of trānsversus