tran·sit (trănsĭt, -zĭt)
1. The act of passing over, across, or through; passage.
a. Conveyance of people or goods from one place to another, especially on a local public transportation system.
b. The system or vehicles used for such conveyance.
3. A transition or change, as to a spiritual existence at death.
a. The passage of a celestial body across the observer's meridian.
b. The passage of a smaller celestial body or its shadow across the disk of a larger celestial body.
5. A surveying instrument similar to a theodolite that measures horizontal and vertical angles.
v. tran·sit·ed, tran·sit·ing, tran·sits
1. To pass over, across, or through: aircraft transiting the United States and Canada.
2. Astronomy To make a transit across (a celestial body as perceived by an observer), as a planet passing between the sun and Earth.
3. To revolve (the telescope of a surveying transit) about its horizontal transverse axis in order to reverse its direction.
To make a transit.
[Middle English transite, from Latin trānsitus, from past participle of trānsīre, to go across; see TRANSIENT.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus