transit

[tran-sit, -zit]
noun
1.
the act or fact of passing across or through; passage from one place to another.
2.
conveyance or transportation from one place to another, as of persons or goods, especially, local public transportation: city transit. Compare mass transit.
3.
a transition or change.
4.
Astronomy.
a.
the passage of a heavenly body across the meridian of a given location or through the field of a telescope.
b.
the passage of Mercury or Venus across the disk of the sun, or of a satellite or its shadow across the face of its primary.
5.
Astrology. the passage of a planet in aspect to another planet or a specific point in a horoscope.
6.
Surveying.
a.
Also called transit instrument. an instrument, as a theodolite, having a telescope that can be transited, used for measuring horizontal and sometimes vertical angles.
b.
a repeating transit theodolite.
7.
(initial capital letter) U.S. Aerospace. one of a series of satellites for providing positional data to ships and aircraft.
verb (used with object), transited, transiting.
8.
to pass across or through.
9.
Surveying. to turn (the telescope of a transit) in a vertical plane in order to reverse direction; plunge.
10.
Astronomy. to cross (a meridian, celestial body, etc.).
verb (used without object), transited, transiting.
11.
to pass over or through something; make a transit.
12.
Astronomy. to make a transit across a meridian, celestial body, etc.

Origin:
1400–50; late Middle English (noun and v.) < Latin trānsitus a going across, passage, equivalent to trānsi-, variant stem of trānsīre to cross (trāns- trans- + -īre to go) + -tus suffix of v. action

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World English Dictionary
transit (ˈtrænsɪt, ˈtrænz-)
 
n
1.  a.  the passage or conveyance of goods or people
 b.  (as modifier): a transit visa
2.  a change or transition
3.  a route
4.  astronomy
 a.  the passage of a celestial body or satellite across the face of a relatively larger body as seen from the earth
 b.  the apparent passage of a celestial body across the meridian, caused by the earth's diurnal rotation
5.  astrology the passage of a planet across some special point on the zodiac
6.  in transit while being conveyed; during passage
 
vb
7.  to make a transit through or over (something)
8.  astronomy to make a transit across (a celestial body or the meridian)
9.  to cause (the telescope of a surveying instrument) to turn over or (of such a telescope) to be turned over in a vertical plane so that it points in the opposite direction
 
[C15: from Latin transitus a going over, from transīre to pass over; see transient]
 
'transitable
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

transit
"act or fact of passing across or through," c.1440, from L. transitus, pp. of transire "go or cross over" (see transient). Meaning "public transporation" is attested from 1873. The verb also is first recorded c.1440.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
transit   (trān'sĭt)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. The passage of a smaller celestial body or its shadow across the disk of a larger celestial body. As observed from Earth, Mercury and Venus are the only planets of the solar system that make transits of the Sun, because they are the only planets with orbits that lie between Earth and the Sun. Mercury makes an average of 13 transits of the Sun each century. Transits of Venus across the Sun are much rarer, with only 7 of them having occurred between 1639 and 2004. In contrast, transits of Jupiter's moons across its disk are common occurrences. Compare occultation.

  2. The passage of a celestial body across the celestial meridian (the great circle on the celestial sphere passing through the celestial poles and an observer's zenith). For any observer, the object is at its highest in the sky at its transit of the observer's meridian. See more at celestial meridian.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
Sic transit gloria mundi [(sik tran-sit glawr-ee-uh moon-dee)]

Latin for “Thus passes away the glory of the world”; worldly things do not last.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences for transits
Lunar transits have been used to map xray emissions from the nebula.
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