transient [tran-shuhnt, -zhuhnt, -zee-uhnt] SynonymsExamplesWord Origin See more synonyms for transient on adjective

  1. not lasting, enduring, or permanent; transitory.
  2. lasting only a short time; existing briefly; temporary: transient authority.
  3. staying only a short time: the transient guests at a hotel.
  4. Philosophy. transeunt.


  1. a person or thing that is transient, especially a temporary guest, boarder, laborer, or the like.
  2. Mathematics.
    1. a function that tends to zero as the independent variable tends to infinity.
    2. a solution, especially of a differential equation, having this property.
  3. Physics.
    1. a nonperiodic signal of short duration.
    2. a decaying signal, wave, or oscillation.
  4. Electricity. a sudden pulse of voltage or current.

Origin of transient 1590–1600; Latin transi(ēns) (nominative singular), present participle of transīre to pass by, literally, go across + -ent; see transeunt Related formstran·sient·ly, adverbtran·sient·ness, nounnon·tran·sient, adjectivenon·tran·sient·ly, adverbnon·tran·sient·ness, nounun·tran·sient, adjectiveun·tran·sient·ly, adverbun·tran·sient·ness, nounSynonyms for transient See more synonyms for on 2. fleeting, flitting, flying, fugitive, evanescent. See temporary.Antonyms for transient 2. permanent. Related Words for transient ephemeral, fleeting, transitory, short-term, flash, temporal, flying, brief, fugitive, short, volatile, passing, fly-by-night, changeable, evanescent, flitting, impermanent, insubstantial, momentary, moving Examples from the Web for transient Contemporary Examples of transient

  • HPV is so transient because no form of safe sex is fool proof.

    The Silent Shame of HPV

    Emily Shire

    August 29, 2014

  • Because my upbringing was so transient, New York ended up being my home.

    Meet the Red Viper: Pedro Pascal on Game of Thrones’ Kinky, Bisexual Hellraiser

    Marlow Stern

    March 26, 2014

  • Presidential power is surprisingly personal, contingent, and transient, not just institutional and consistent.

    Obama and Syria: Fighting the Wimp Factor

    Gil Troy

    September 18, 2013

  • Los Angeles police have described Campbell as a transient who has lived in the city for only a short period.

    The Venice Beach Menace’s Troubled Past

    Christine Pelisek, Barbie Latza Nadeau

    August 6, 2013

  • In this case “transient” is attached, because most patients with this disorder make a full recovery after a period of time.

    Transient Global Amnesia: What Total Memory Loss Is Like

    Dr. Anand Veeravagu, MD

    July 28, 2013

  • Historical Examples of transient

  • Calmness is imperative: to be as motionless as transient beings can.

    Initiation into Philosophy

    Emile Faguet

  • They got exactly what the transient may expect in any country.

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan

  • The lines of camp-fires begin to gleam from the transient Bedouin villages.

    Out-of-Doors in the Holy Land

    Henry Van Dyke

  • “I will not make the most of it, Mr. Eld,” the old man said, with a transient smile.

    Aunt Rachel

    David Christie Murray

  • The emotion of grief is real with them, I believe, but transient.

    Ten Thousand Miles with a Dog Sled

    Hudson Stuck

  • British Dictionary definitions for transient transient adjective

    1. for a short time only; temporary or transitory
    2. philosophy a variant of transeunt


    1. a transient person or thing
    2. physics a brief change in the state of a system, such as a sudden short-lived oscillation in the current flowing through a circuit

    Derived Formstransiently, adverbtransience or transiency, nounWord Origin for transient C17: from Latin transiēns going over, from transīre to pass over, from trans- + īre to go Word Origin and History for transient adj.

    c.1600, from Latin transiens (accusative transientem) “passing over or away,” present participle of transire “cross over, pass away,” from trans- “across” (see trans-) + ire “to go” (see ion). The noun is first attested 1650s; specific sense of “transient guest or boarder” first recorded 1880.

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