Definition of transition in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /tranˈziSH(ə)n/
Pronunciation: /tranˈsiSH(ə)n/


1The process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another: students in transition from one program to another a transition to multiparty democracy
More example sentences
  • The situationists only wanted what could never exist, never accepting a period of transition, a process of change.
  • He skilfully dissects the complex and varied forms of the labour process during periods of transition.
  • For these other countries, postcommunism designates the period of transition and radical democratic changes that followed the end of communist rule.
change, passage, move, transformation, conversion, metamorphosis, alteration, handover, changeover;
segue, shift, switch, jump, leap, progression;
progress, development, evolution, flux
1.1The process by which a person permanently adopts the outward or physical characteristics of the gender with which they identify, as opposed to those associated with their birth sex. The process may or may not involve measures such as hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery: she had been living as a woman for eight years at that point and had completed her transition in 2001 he began the transition from female to male in the 10th grade
More example sentences
  • The main thing I had going for me was almost instant acceptance by other women as one of them that actually predated my transition.
  • Even people who have dealt with my transition in a very sophisticated way are uncomfortable with the fact that we are two women living together and legally married.
  • We thought Roberta - who was, perhaps, an idealized transgendered person - had the right idea: she retained her core self through the transition.
1.2A passage in a piece of writing that smoothly connects two topics or sections to each other.
Example sentences
  • Both approaches have strengths and flaws, which we discuss at the end of the broad-brush passage in making the transition to the particularistic section.
  • This is usually a boring topic, but the author makes the transition smoothly.
  • What redeems the transition flaws is tight writing.
1.3 Music A momentary modulation from one key to another.
Example sentences
  • I was bowled over by the energy of the Seventh Symphony which has a lovely transition in the First Movement and a dreamy Allegretto reminding one of hallowed antiquity.
  • In a telling transition from B minor to F major, Delius calms the troubled man.
  • A quick transition to the major tonality provides sunshine.
1.4 Physics A change of an atom, nucleus, electron, etc., from one quantum state to another, with emission or absorption of radiation.
Example sentences
  • The absorption and emission spectra of molecules can be correlated with such transitions of electrons between allowed quantized energy levels.
  • The active medium in a conventional laser is an electromagnetic cavity that resonates at the same frequency as the optical transitions of electrons in the medium.
  • Now, when these electrons make a transition back to some lower energy level, electromagnetic rays are emitted in the process which carry away the energy.


1Undergo or cause to undergo a process or period of transition: [with object]: the network ought to be built by the federal government and then transitioned into private industry [no object]: we have transitioned from a high-intensity combat operation to a support role in the community
More example sentences
  • Each of us is in the process of transitioning our weaknesses into strengths, some faster than others, some slower than others.
  • After 1945, the war industries quickly transitioned to peaceful purposes, and the recovery proceeded.
  • Others are transitioning from more expensive private networks.
1.1 [no object] Adopt permanently the outward or physical characteristics of the gender one identifies with, as opposed to those associated with one’s birth sex: once the decision was finally made to transition, she was overwhelmed with the support from her immediate family
More example sentences
  • She's only recently transitioned in the past six months - she had male to female genital reassignment surgery.
  • Grace transitioned two years ago.
  • Jones, a fully transitioned, transplanted New Yorker, simply wants to be treated like an ordinary woman.



Pronunciation: /-ˌnerē/
Example sentences
  • During this transitionary period, I anticipate that some posts will continue to be flirty, frivolous and funny, while others will reflect my mood at the time.
  • But maybe that it what's wanted during this transitionary period when so many younger people bypass the newspaper for the web.
  • Perhaps you have the good fortune of knowing a group of other newbies who can be your pals, or at least your transitionary pals.


Mid 16th century: from French, or from Latin transitio(n-), from transire 'go across'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: tran·si·tion

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.