Definition of transom in English:



  • 1The flat surface forming the stern of a boat.

    • ‘With six of us now in the boat, the low transom and failed bilge pump is worrying, but we dive anyway.’
    • ‘The sheer of the B40 is slightly flatter, the transom more vertical and broader, and the bow slightly less spoon-shaped.’
    • ‘After the transom and hull began to crack, they learned otherwise.’
    • ‘The main saloon is nicely arranged with a transom berth and pilot berth to port and a settee/berth to starboard.’
    • ‘The Bertram 31 and its prototype were designed with a remarkable 23-degree angle of deadrise at the transom with three lifting strakes on each side from the keel to the chine.’
    1. 1.1 A horizontal beam reinforcing the stern of a boat.
      • ‘But the second boat was deeper down in the peat, and although twisted and snapped by the river over the course of time was still complete, with a transom and wooden cross-braces.’
      joist, purlin, girder, spar, support, strut, stay, brace, scantling, batten, lintel, stringer, baulk, board, timber, plank, lath, rafter
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A strengthening crossbar, in particular one set above a window or door.
      Compare with mullion
      • ‘Both wails have fixed glazing with custom built mullions and transoms.’
      • ‘The head casing that separates the transoms from the French doors runs at the same 7-foot height around the entire space, blending with the built-in bookshelves.’
      • ‘They first replaced a single entry door with transom-topped French doors; then they lowered windows over the sink by a foot, adding a transom to fill in the void.’
      • ‘Now, in summer the openings are free of mullions or transoms and frame the lush foliage beyond.’
      • ‘Pairs of narrow French doors topped with transoms line one wall of the main room, offering easy access to the deck and playing up the room's dramatic vaulted ceiling.’
      • ‘Both doors are topped by elliptical transoms deeply recessed into paneled openings and embraced by taut curving stone arches.’
      • ‘Puddling style draperies over the windows and original shutters control light, and transoms over the doors help the air to circulate.’
      • ‘A door was supposed to have a transom and a lintel and a keyhole and stiles and a handle.’
    3. 1.3
      US term for transom window
      • ‘Entries often showcase glass in the door, plus sidelights and transoms (windows over the door).’
      • ‘If the doors and the transoms above weren't exactly the right height, you'd have a totally different feeling.’
      • ‘Curtain walls, sliding doors, transoms, and more can be finished in dark bronze or clear anodized and painted bronze or white.’
      • ‘On the exterior is a combination of standard metal building components and antique and new mahogany doors and transoms.’
      • ‘Along one wall, new floor-to-ceiling windows topped by arched transoms bring natural light deep into the room.’


  • over the transom

    • informal Offered or sent without prior agreement; unsolicited.

      ‘the editors receive about ten manuscripts a week over the transom’
      • ‘These projects come in over the transom in a weird way.’
      • ‘The very large outboard engine weighed down the stern and waves were lapping over the transom.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the money coming in the door could not meet the bills flying over the transom.’
      • ‘But it's important to keep some perspective, even as another load of subpoenas and rotten tomatoes comes in over the transom.’
      • ‘An apology came over the transom about an hour later.’
      • ‘So when this tape came over the transom, they were saying, ‘We've got a scoop!’’
      • ‘And more counterexamples are coming in over the transom all the time.’
      • ‘I get a lot of stuff over the transom, and this year I am going to do my best to thank everyone who's contributed material to the site.’
      • ‘Did he decide to hear every preemption case that comes over the transom?’
      • ‘But once everyone adjusts, those couple hundred emails will mean nothing more than the couple dozen letters that might have physically come in over the transom in the old days.’


Late Middle English (earlier as traversayn): from Old French traversin, from the verb traverser ‘to cross’ (see traverse).