Definition of transcontinental in US English:



  • 1(especially of a railroad line) crossing a continent.

    • ‘Later the Chinese made the westward journey of Mormon converts infinitely more convenient by building the transcontinental railway.’
    • ‘The defence of a new Russian single-track transcontinental railway to Vladivostok was both a cause for sabre-rattling and, ultimately, a major factor in defeat.’
    • ‘This is a long-term trend in European civilization which began with Peter the Great, and which took off in 1877 with the work of Mendeleyev in building the transcontinental railway.’
    • ‘The track later known as the Oodnadatta Track became the main overland route for drovers and later the transcontinental railway to Darwin.’
    • ‘The post-Civil War expansion of the railroad network - including the construction of the first transcontinental lines - enabled entrepreneurs to establish national corporations.’
    • ‘Notably, in 1869, the eastbound Central Pacific and westbound Union Pacific railroads met at Promontory, Utah, completing the nation's first transcontinental railway.’
    • ‘Six years later, in order to finish construction of a transcontinental railway, the United States purchased an additional 30,000 square miles of Mexican land for $10 million.’
    • ‘The unity of the United States was effected under the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln, who introduced the transcontinental railway system.’
    • ‘By the 1890s, there were half a dozen transcontinental railways.’
    • ‘What could torpedo these plans is if tourists as a whole cancel their winter holidays out of safety concerns or if the airlines cut capacity on transcontinental routes.’
    • ‘Asians have been intertwined with America's destiny since Chinese immigrants arrived en masse to build the transcontinental railway after the civil war.’
    • ‘In fact the majority of UK funds raised between Confederation and the First World War were used to finance the construction of Canada's two transcontinental railways.’
    • ‘The third and most challenging joint air defense undertaking of the 1950s was the construction of a transcontinental line along the 70th parallel about 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle.’
    • ‘After 1876, American methods typified by the development of the American transcontinental railway system, were adopted in Germany, Russia, Japan, and elsewhere, including China.’
    • ‘Canadian Northern, Canada's third transcontinental railway, was also expanding.’
    • ‘The latest low-fare carrier to add coast-to-coast service is America West, which began its fourth transcontinental route Monday with Boston-San Francisco flights.’
    • ‘His great-grandfather, Sidney Dillon, was founding chairman of the Union Pacific Railroad and in 1869 drove the ceremonial last spike completing the nation's first transcontinental rail line.’
    • ‘We don't have a transcontinental railway system!’
    • ‘Forest harvesting started in the region as soon as the transcontinental railway was opened in 1910.’
    • ‘The approach, however, and eventual arrival of the transcontinental railway in 1869, quickly brought significant and interrelated changes to Utah.’
    1. 1.1 Extending across or relating to two or more continents.
      ‘a transcontinental radio audience’
      • ‘This literature is not only transcontinental but it is omnivorous.’
      • ‘I consulted with my good friend Jim, an avid cyclist who has several transcontinental bike runs (across several continents) as well a small pile of really neat X-rays to prove it.’
      • ‘In this time of tribulation for these two gorgeous, devastated stars, I would like to offer my services, not as transcontinental gossip provider, but as celebrity matchmaker!’
      • ‘We want to reach beyond that, to pioneer in great infrastructure projects, which will be transcontinental in their significance, to unite the continents, to unify the human race in cooperation.’
      • ‘The Prime Minister headed back a day earlier to pack his bags for China while the other component of the top leadership came in after a transcontinental tour spanning the Atlantic Ocean.’
      • ‘But these diseases are also global: SARS hopscotched the world via transcontinental flights.’
      • ‘An amazing amount of the global food supply is transcontinental and produced by energy-intensive large-scale agriculture.’
      • ‘She has caused great offence within the Asian community by her pronouncements on issues such as Asian children speaking English in the home and her criticisms of transcontinental marriages.’
      • ‘High levels of transcontinental marriages - and the issue of language skills - also had to be properly debated and researched.’
      • ‘In addition, they will be distracted from academic life by their preoccupation with March Madness and left exhausted by practices, games, press demands and transcontinental travel schedules.’


  • A transcontinental railroad or train.