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[tran-si-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, -zi-] /ˈtræn sɪˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, -zɪ-/
not lasting, enduring, permanent, or eternal.
lasting only a short time; brief; short-lived; temporary.
Origin of transitory
1325-75; Middle English transitorie < Late Latin trānsitōrius fleeting (see transit, -tory1); replacing Middle English transitoire < Middle French < Late Latin, as above
Related forms
[tran-si-tawr-uh-lee, -tohr-, tran-si-tawr-, -tohr-, -zi-] /ˈtræn sɪˌtɔr ə li, -ˌtoʊr-, ˌtræn sɪˈtɔr-, -ˈtoʊr-, -zɪ-/ (Show IPA),
transitoriness, noun
untransitorily, adverb
untransitoriness, noun
untransitory, adjective
2. See temporary.
2. permanent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for transitory
  • Two-legged walking in a chimp is an occasional, transitory behavior.
  • Most unfortunate, however, are buildings designed in immediate response to transitory events.
  • Unlike any single piece of print journalism, its borders are extremely porous and its truth inherently transitory.
  • Senate opposition to this treaty or to some similar agreement is probably transitory.
  • By this heavenly visitation he found his mind wonderfully changed, and more than ever weaned from all transitory things.
  • These endangered hoofed mammals, which live in transitory groups called harems, are herbivores that subsist on foraged plants.
  • Political views are narrower and more transitory than values.
  • The whole experience is transitory and soon forgotten.
  • If the stress is transitory, then the treatment can be transitory.
  • The effects of these changes are likely to be transitory.
British Dictionary definitions for transitory


/ˈtrænsɪtərɪ; -trɪ/
of short duration; transient or ephemeral
Derived Forms
transitorily, adverb
transitoriness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Church Latin transitōrius passing, from Latin transitus a crossing over; see transient
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for transitory

late 14c., from Old French transitoire (12c.), from Late Latin transitorius "passing, transient," from Latin, "allowing passage through," from transitus, past participle of transire "go or cross over" (see transient).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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