tran·si·tive (trănsĭ-tĭv, -zĭ-)
1. Abbr. trans. or tr. or t. Grammar Expressing an action carried from the subject to the object; requiring a direct object to complete meaning. Used of a verb or verb construction.
2. Characterized by or involving transition.
3. Logic & Mathematics Of or relating to a binary relation such that, whenever one element is related to a second element and the second element is related to a third element, then the first element is also related to the third element. Examples of transitive relations are "less than" for real numbers (a < b and b < c implies a < c) and divisibility for integers (a divides b and b divides c mean that a divides c).
A transitive verb.
[Late Latin trānsitīvus, passing over (translation of Greek diabibastikos), from trānsitus, past participle of trānsīre, to go over; see TRANSIENT.]
transi·tive·ness, tran′si·tivi·ty n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 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