Definition of transient in English:



  • 1Lasting only for a short time; impermanent.

    ‘a transient cold spell’
    • ‘Therefore, we accept life and death as part of this ephemeral and transient cycle.’
    • ‘On some level, I have been able to detach myself from them, and to see them as a condition which is every bit as arbitrary and transient as a common cold.’
    • ‘There are also forms of organically based temporary or transient amnesia, such as those induced by drug or alcohol intoxication or by epileptic seizures.’
    • ‘But the area was unfamiliar to me yesterday and I felt the human memory is short-lived and life is transient.’
    • ‘Furthermore, brief and transient increases in population size may be sufficient to maintain functional overlap.’
    • ‘Poetry therefore constitutes the only language practice capable of transfiguring temporal, transient things into the eternal.’
    • ‘The patient underwent a subtotal resection of the tumor, which resulted in improved vision and only transient short-term memory deficits.’
    • ‘She was panting: her breath forming strings of transient puffs in the cold air.’
    • ‘Am I magnifying its intensity because it is of a more transient nature while the other poses more serious implications?’
    • ‘As I looked at this contrast between living, transient beauty and cold mortality, I thought: ‘Et in Arcadia, ego’.’
    • ‘We enfeeble ourselves clinging to transient, ephemeral material things and relationships.’
    • ‘Happiness is a transient condition that vanishes the moment it's in your grip, when another allurement emerges that goads you on inexorably.’
    • ‘The notion that life is transient, that the material is impermanent, is common to many religious and philosophical systems.’
    • ‘Short term memory refers to the transient memories that last from minutes to hours.’
    • ‘Thus to ‘notice’ is more than a matter of paying brief attention to transient phenomena.’
    • ‘Similar weight gain occurred that was easily controlled with transient increases in diuretics.’
    • ‘Most women revealed highly unstable and transient relationship patterns.’
    • ‘The pictures reflect an interest in the ephemeral, impermanent, transient nature of the world.’
    • ‘In this paper it is demonstrated that transient expression can easily be performed in ripe fleshy fruits.’
    • ‘If the pain is transient, I wouldn't worry about it.’
    transitory, temporary, short-lived, short-term, ephemeral, impermanent, brief, short, momentary
    fleeting, flying, evanescent, passing, fugitive, fading, mutable, unstable, volatile, here today and gone tomorrow, fly-by-night
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Staying or working in a place for a short time only.
      ‘the transient nature of the labour force in catering’
      • ‘In the hard times of the 1930s, unemployed men and transient hobos often took temporary refuge on the island, erecting small shanty towns of tents.’
      • ‘They are termed abandoners, though some may be transient crèchers whose period of care was shorter than the interval between observations’
      • ‘Since 1999, the territorial government has been coping with hundreds of staff vacancies and a highly transient work force - and few employees who want to stay in their jobs for long.’
      • ‘Previous research has shown that substance abusers are highly transient and difficult to locate.’
      • ‘In the short term, however, the average transient wants nothing more than food in their stomach and a little bit of dignity.’
      • ‘While the furthest camping section is the refuge of transient workers looking for an affordable place to stay, tourists are most likely to make use of the cabins and dorms.’
      • ‘Another short-term arrangement was day labour where transient labour, operating without a contract, could work for a daily wage with either party free to end the relationship.’
      • ‘I'd live the transient and ephemeral existence of a backpacker for a week, an existence of freedom and simple pleasures.’
      • ‘Among other consequences, this has meant that the tourism industry has not been able to adequately access transient workers because there is nowhere for them to stay.’
      • ‘Thanks to their dazzling diversity of color, furtive nature, and transient presence, warblers and their fellow neotropical migrants monopolize spring birding.’
      • ‘"The problem with our business is people are so transient, " says Debbie.’
      • ‘It is believed that permitting foreign expatriates to own their own properties encourages increased longevity of stay and contributes to a more less transient economic environment.’
      • ‘The last thing a transient or a short-term resident needs is new experiences!’
      • ‘The group has been calling for temporary halting site facilities for transient traders.’


  • 1A person who is staying or working in a place for a short time only.

    • ‘Think of college towns, many of which almost certainly have an even higher proportion of transients in the population than DC does.’
    • ‘There are other things which are not as appealing, like the transients.’
    • ‘A police spokesman said: ‘The indication that transients are involved is correct.’’
    • ‘Bums, transients, and hobos are everywhere there is opportunity or the opportunity to be near opportunity yet still be far away from success.’
    • ‘They interviewed transients, neighbors, old boyfriends, family, you name it.’
    • ‘Andy writes ‘There are far too many poets, painters, writers, protesters, and transients getting benefits.’’
    • ‘Drug addicts, especially injecting drug users, sex workers, those in prison and those referred to as transients and migrants remain at the top of the nation's list of ‘high-risk’ groups.’
    • ‘There were probably, I'd say about 15 solid members, maybe 10 to 15 solid members, and then another 10 or so transients.’
    • ‘No one minded, because fast food - with the emphasis on fast - is exactly what hurrying, scurrying transients want.’
    • ‘Though many stalwart defenders of the homeless also spoke at the meeting, the council ultimately passed two ordinances that appear intended to clear transients out.’
    • ‘It's a bizarre mix of ski bums, transients, small businesses, families, settled hippies, hippy wannabes, and red necks, but everyone seems to get along.’
    • ‘The law had been applied to hotels and motels to collect a tax from transients, vacationers, and travelers, who stay overnight in Alabama.’
    • ‘The editorial page was happy about it, but reminded us how downtown had lost so many SRO (single-room occupancy) hotels like this one, displacing transients and day-laborers.’
    • ‘A Garda spokesperson acknowledged that there were a number of homeless or transients in the city and they often congregated together.’
    • ‘While many locals don't like what's happening to their neighbourhood, they're also reluctant to give the cold shoulder to the homeless, thus providing less incentive for transients to move on.’
    • ‘Because the transients are such gypsies, their so-called ‘predatory events’ present the best opportunity to study them.’
    • ‘Quite a few young women were brought in, usually street walkers and transients, which were considered wards of the state.’
    • ‘Sport, as this city of transfers and transients is discovering, can bind a community together.’
    • ‘Just pick victims without families, like transients!’
  • 2A momentary variation in current, voltage, or frequency.

    • ‘Repetitive current transients detected during the flicker of the exocytotic fusion pore may be related to leakage.’
    • ‘The AA300 Series integrated load center lets users tailor protection against harmful voltage transients.’
    • ‘In addition, the quality of the fit can easily be assayed by measuring how well the current transient conforms to an exponential time course.’
    • ‘Other situations affecting power quality are transients or spikes, surges or over-voltages, noise and sags or brownouts.’
    • ‘In most experiments, we partially compensated the membrane transients to speed the membrane voltage clamp.’
    • ‘The source also needs to maintain bandwidth stability as parameters like duty cycle and repetition rate change, creating thermal transients and acoustic resonances.’
    • ‘Capacitance transients are not seen in the traces, since they occurred before the start of the scan.’
    • ‘Capacitive transients and linear current leakage were minimized on-line by acting on the respective built-in compensation sections of the amplifier.’
    • ‘The initial current transient that is mediated by rapidly inactivating A-type K + channels was missing in the transistor signal.’
    • ‘Current transients were then obtained by subtraction of sloping baselines separately fitted to ‘on’ and ‘off’ portions.’
    • ‘We use fluorescent amphiphilic dyes which are well established to record voltage transients in neurons at low to medium resolution.’
    • ‘Upon decreasing the frequency, the transients fell back to the initial steady state.’
    • ‘Application of a potential step to the coated electrode system results in a current transient that can be divided into two regions.’
    • ‘Phase transients, such as jitter and wander, may produce slips in voice traffic that result in audible clicks on the line.’
    • ‘They are also quite sensitive to variations in power quality due to transients, harmonics, and voltage surges and sags.’
    • ‘As the lattice parameter decreases, these transients occur more frequently.’
    • ‘The series is immune to short voltage transients.’


Late 16th century: from Latin transient- going across, from the verb transire, from trans- across + ire go.