[tran-zish-uhn, -sish-]
movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change: the transition from adolescence to adulthood.
a passing from one key to another; modulation.
a brief modulation; a modulation used in passing.
a sudden, unprepared modulation.
a passage from one scene to another by sound effects, music, etc., as in a television program, theatrical production, or the like.
verb (used without object)
to make a transition: He had difficulty transitioning from enlisted man to officer.

1545–55; < Latin trānsitiōn- (stem of trānsitiō) a going across, equivalent to trānsit(us) (past participle of transīre to cross; cf. transit) + -iōn- -ion

transitional, transitionary [tran-zish-uh-ner-ee, -sish-] , adjective
transitionally, adverb
nontransitional, adjective
nontransitionally, adverb
untransitional, adjective
untransitionally, adverb

1. changeover, passing, conversion. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
transition (trænˈzɪʃən)
1.  change or passage from one state or stage to another
2.  the period of time during which something changes from one state or stage to another
3.  music
 a.  a movement from one key to another; modulation
 b.  a linking passage between two divisions in a composition; bridge
4.  Also called: transitional a style of architecture that was used in western Europe in the late 11th and early 12th century, characterized by late Romanesque forms combined with early Gothic details
5.  physics
 a.  any change that results in a change of physical properties of a substance or system, such as a change of phase or molecular structure
 b.  a change in the configuration of an atomic nucleus, involving either a change in energy level resulting from the emission of a gamma-ray photon or a transformation to another element or isotope
6.  a sentence, passage, etc, that connects a topic to one that follows or that links sections of a written work
[C16: from Latin transitio; see transient]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1551, from L. transitionem (nom. transitio) "a going across or over," noun of action from transire "go or cross over" (see transient).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


alteration of a physical system from one state, or condition, to another. In atomic and particle physics, transitions are often described as being allowed or forbidden (see selection rule). Allowed transitions are those that have high probability of occurring, as in the case of short-lived radioactive decay of atomic nuclei. In three-millionths of a second, for instance, half of any sample of unstable polonium-212 becomes stable lead-208 by ejecting alpha particles (helium-4 nuclei) from individual atomic nuclei. Forbidden transitions, on the other hand, are those that have a high probability of not occurring. A strictly forbidden transition is one that cannot occur at all

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The evolutionary transition among major groups of mammals is rarely illustrated
  so clearly.
Why this change has come about, and why the demographic transition happens in
  the first place, are matters of debate.
We'll probably need a phase transition of some sort to change that situation
The transition to land brought major changes to the faces of our ancestors.
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