Meaning of TRANSITION in English


I. tran(t)ˈsishən, traan-, -nˈzi- noun

( -s )

Etymology: Latin transition-, transitio, from transitus (past participle of transire to go across, pass) + -ion-, -io -ion — more at transient


a. : a passage or movement from one state, condition, or place to another : change

in what shadowy spot … does the transition from the dead to the quick take place — Treasury of Science

the transition from childhood to adulthood

the abrupt transition of her features from assured pride to ludicrous astonishment and alarm — Arnold Bennett

that evening at the time of transition in the sky — Ethel Wilson

here guided missiles can pass through a complete sea-land transition — J.C.Waugh

an age of transition and flux

b. : a movement, development, or evolution from one stage, form, or style to another usually of a later time or period

the first phase of the movement was more in the nature of a transition than a rebellion — Bernard Smith

the transition of American civilization from agricultural to urban — N.B.Fagin

a transition from native bronze to iron artifacts took place … under the influence of cultural borrowings — R.W.Murray

the transition of early English architecture

a transition … from the inorganic to the organic, from the inanimate to the living — W.R.Inge


a. : a passing from one subject to another especially without abruptness

having told all her griefs … was soon able to make a voluntary transition to the oddities of her cousin — Jane Austen

specifically : a passage of discourse in which a shift of subject is gradually effected

has a bleakly ungraceful habit of making his transitions in the form of a question as a topic sentence — B.H.Bronson


(1) : a musical modulation ; especially : a transient modulation

(2) : a sudden change of key

(3) : a musical passage leading from one section of a piece to another : bridge

c. : a change or moving from one dramatic scene to another usually by a fade, sound effects, music, or narration

uses an onstage narrator who streamlines the transition between scenes — Time

3. : an abrupt change in the energy state or energy level of an atomic electron, a nucleus, or a molecule accompanied in general by the loss or gain of a single quantum of energy — compare quantum theory

II. adjective

Usage: usually capitalized

: of, relating to, or being a biogeographic zone having plants and animals of the zones on each side

the Transition zone between the Boreal and Australian zones of No. America

III. noun

: a genetic mutation in RNA or DNA that results from the substitution of one purine base for the other or of one pyrimidine base for the other

IV. intransitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: transition , noun

: to make a transition

had a difficult time transitioning from a minority to a majority — George Pataki

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.