Definition of transept in English:



  • (in a cross-shaped church) either of the two parts forming the arms of the cross shape, projecting at right angles from the nave.

    ‘the north transept’
    • ‘This refurbishment includes replacement, pointing and refurbishment of stonework on the four faces and the north and south transepts.’
    • ‘The cross-shaped hall resembles an aircraft hangar or perhaps the transept and nave of a modern-day basilica.’
    • ‘It has a fine Norman nave and transepts with a 13th-century choir and chapter house, where the stonework with its distinctive Southwell foliage is unique.’
    • ‘Shortly after it was built, small north and south transepts were added.’
    • ‘By the Requiem Aeternam the choir was established in the body of the church, in the transept.’
    • ‘The restoration will also include work to the stonework of the north and south transepts, which are also crumbling badly.’
    • ‘A fire in 1866 destroyed the north transept, which was never rebuilt.’
    • ‘Although now installed in the north transept of the later church, the plaque exactly fits a cavity in the tympanum over the original door giving access from the Panteon to the main sanctuary.’
    • ‘The Dean announced that it was to be removed to the old choir school adjoining the south transept of the Minster and the Archbishop's Registry.’
    • ‘There was possibly a sense that in comparison to the magnificent new transepts and nave the choir itself, once so widely acclaimed, was no longer splendid enough.’
    • ‘The north transept houses a narrow, deep Saxon doorway of honey-coloured stone, which would originally have been lime-washed and over-painted with decorative designs.’
    • ‘The Cathedral of Saint-Nazaire-et-Saint-Blaise is similar in quality; it consists of a Romanesque nave that is flanked by aisles and crossed by a transept in early Gothic style.’
    • ‘Inside is a nave surmounted by a generous barrel vault supported by large but simple columns and flanked by side aisles; a transept separates the nave from a central apse behind the altar.’
    • ‘Set within the crossing of a church transept, Christ stands centered in the foreground, flanked by his Apostles, and administers the host.’
    • ‘The terms of his Orvieto contract reflect his celebrity as an architect, which is justified by his remedial work on the cathedral transept, apse, and roof.’
    • ‘Completed in 1247 in early English style, legend has it that St Giles was built of the stone left over from the transepts of York Minster by the masons who worked on the great cathedral.’
    • ‘The main hall was flanked by two picture galleries, and the whole layout resembled a cathedral with a transept and a massive organ at the far end.’
    • ‘It is no coincidence that in the remodeling of the lower church at Assisi, the side chapel immediately adjacent to the north transept was dedicated to the Magdalen.’
    • ‘Herbert's energies went into the whole church, the nave and transepts as well as the chancel.’
    • ‘Internally, the building is divided into a nave, transepts and side aisles composed of ornamental cast-iron columns and girders and a gallery 12 feet wide runs all round the Hall.’


Mid 16th century: from modern Latin transeptum (see trans-, septum).