Definition of intransitive in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪnˈtranzɪtɪv/
Pronunciation: /ɪnˈtrɑːnzɪtɪv/
Pronunciation: /ɪnˈtransɪtɪv/
Pronunciation: /ɪnˈtrɑːnsɪtɪv/


(Of a verb or a sense or use of a verb) not taking a direct object, e.g. look in look at the sky. The opposite of transitive.
Example sentences
  • And although I did a bit of a double-take, I soon got the idea of what was meant by that stunningly ungrammatical sleeps obedience - with its intransitive verb assigned a direct object in defiance of all syntactic decency.
  • In particular, similar patterns exist for other cases of verbs combining with intransitive prepositions (or ‘particles’, as some people call them).
  • The combination of verbs with intransitive prepositions is one of the many pseudopods of morphological quasi-regularity that extend into the phrasal domain in English.



Pronunciation: /ɪnˈtranzɪtɪvli/
Pronunciation: /ɪnˈtransɪtɪvli/
Example sentences
  • Furthermore, the verbs are usually transitive, though occasionally they are used intransitively with a preposition like for, of, or about introducing the object.
  • One obvious step was to look on the Web for this particular verb used intransitively - or better yet, find a way to search more generally for sentences according to linguistically relevant lexical and/or syntactic criteria.
  • No, said another student, you can use find intransitively.


Pronunciation: /ɪntranzəˈtɪvɪti/ Pronunciation: /ɪntransəˈtɪvɪti/
Example sentences
  • Or in other words, can intransitivity or immediacy become transitive and mediated?
  • Here is an openness and intransitivity, an attentiveness that is both alert and unfixed, the ‘radical break with transitivity’ that excites Foucault in the Bataille essay and that he characterizes as ‘Greek’.
  • Of even the transitive verbs several occur in isolation from their normal object and continue this state of intransitivity where the normal relations between process and object are suspended.


Early 17th century: from late Latin intransitivus 'not passing over', from in- 'not' + transitivus (see transitive).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: in|transi|tive

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