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(of a verb or a sense or use of a verb) able to take a direct object (expressed or implied), e.g. saw in he saw the donkey.The opposite of intransitive
- ‘But it is the rare transitive use of the verb, with the action sent on to an object, that catches the attention of philologists.’
- ‘The first part of the utterance seems to be in English, except for the verb rub which has been given the Tok Pisin suffix - im, which marks transitive verbs.’
- ‘A grammar of Japanese will tell you that a transitive verb is positioned after its object, not before, because you couldn't guess that if no one told you.’
- ‘Furthermore, the verbs are usually transitive, though occasionally they are used intransitively with a preposition like for, of, or about introducing the object.’
- ‘However, some transitive verbs take a prepositional phrase instead of an indirect object.’
(of a relation) such that, if it applies between successive members of a sequence, it must also apply between any two members taken in order. For instance, if A is larger than B, and B is larger than C, then A is larger than C.
- ‘I glanced at Nick, who nodded, and the teacher went back to droning on and on about the transitive property in Geometry: easily the most boring class of the day.’
- ‘When most individuals in the group differ in size, stable dominance relationships generally yield transitive hierarchies consistent with size.’
- ‘The reason for this consequence is that identity is a transitive relation: that is to say, if a is identical with b and b is identical with c, then, of necessity, a is identical with c.’
- ‘The transitive property of equality says that if a = b and b = c, then a = c.’
- ‘He also considered permutation groups of small degree, groups having a small number of conjugacy classes, multiply transitive groups, and characteristic subgroups of finite groups.’
Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘transitory’): from late Latin transitivus, from transit- gone across (see transit).
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