Definition of transit in US English:



  • 1The carrying of people, goods, or materials from one place to another.

    ‘a painting was damaged in transit’
    • ‘The 18-year-old qualifier was forced to play with a borrowed racket at the start of the tournament after hers were delayed in transit.’
    • ‘The tapes for the first week's filming went missing in transit to London.’
    • ‘I've never had jet lag before, but it's not surprising I have it now since I'm on my fourth time zone in a fortnight, have lost an entire day somewhere and have spent several entire nights in transit.’
    • ‘Existing industries also are suffering due to goods damaged in transit, therefore affecting their competitiveness and long-term sustainability.’
    • ‘With urban transportation, higher urban densities are critical in order to allow public transit and walking to be feasible urban transport options.’
    • ‘The ships carrying the materials have been in transit for some time and are due to arrive in the Irish Sea shortly.’
    • ‘They feature our exclusive fully adjustable elastic retention system, which keeps a passenger's head supported in an upright and comfortable position while sleeping in transit.’
    • ‘‘The real problem is that the food the West pledged is not there, and not yet in transit in the kind of quantities needed,’ he says.’
    • ‘They have been linked to nearly 3 million worth of robberies from cash in transit vans in recent years.’
    • ‘The shipment was in transit between Malaysia's Port Klang and Oakland in California.’
    • ‘There is also the issue of goods damaged in transit, during transportation from Mayo to Dublin or to the ports.’
    • ‘Security firms rather than the banks are also liable for all cash in transit, more than €7m in the last 12 months.’
    • ‘I think that probably 10 years from now you'll actually be able to watch a shipment in transit.’
    • ‘While the shipment was in transit, the British approached the French and bought all 150,000.’
    • ‘Furthermore, our stock was damaged in transit by the sub-contractor who sponsored the transport from Port Elizabeth to East London arranged by the committee.’
    • ‘Strip away the jargon, and you are talking about ambushing terrorist groups, raiding weapons shipments in transit, and rescuing hostages.’
    • ‘Inquiries began after a number of relatively high value benefits books were reported as having been lost in transit and were not received by the those entitled to them.’
    • ‘Full details of the scheme, which will involve strict controls on transportation to ensure that the animals are not infected in transit, are expected to be announced on Friday.’
    • ‘For example, one can envision such systems installed in cargo holds, operating while freight is in transit.’
    • ‘Behind the fences, one can catch glimpses of seemingly limitless stacks of containers - an immense accumulation of wealth in transit.’
    • ‘A substantial portion of a shipment which was in transit to Canada was stolen, resulting in a loss to him of approximately $115,000.’
    en route, on the journey, during transport, on the way, on the road, on the move, along the road, in motion
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1North American The conveyance of passengers on public transportation.
      • ‘In fact I would say foot travel and public transit would be the main ‘losers’ to cycles as it would mainly be relatively short haul trippers who would be impacted.’
      • ‘So what precisely would be the difference between a search conducted to protect a library collection and a search to protect myself and my fellow passengers in the public transit system?’
      • ‘And finally, since we are encouraging you to walk or take transit when possible, think about pedestrians.’
      • ‘One gentleman is so dedicated to locating obscure dispensers that he actually uses city transit to visit remote suburban garage sales.’
      • ‘I am really looking forward to returning this car to my folks and getting back on public transit.’
      • ‘Trucking, airline, and public transit workers also participated in the strike.’
      • ‘We try not to contribute by walking or taking public transit.’
      • ‘And most importantly, we always felt safe and comfortable, and we were out sometimes in public transit until close to midnight.’
      • ‘They may have to provide services such as public transit and education incentives to lure workers to service jobs that an aging population will not be able to fill itself.’
      • ‘He also wants to ease the region's transportation problems by increasing lanes and improving public transit.’
      • ‘Public transit does not function in this kind of contrived environment.’
      • ‘You know, there's so much air time spent in this city on admonishing people to get out of their cars and take transit, cycle or walk.’
      • ‘Traffic congestion and inadequate public transit make this the most polluted metro area in the country.’
      • ‘In the sixties, the blue-collar jobs that supported previous generations of urban blacks moved out of town, beyond the reach of public transit.’
      • ‘Now it's home to a dense, multipurpose, taxpaying business well-served by public transit, which is supposedly what New Urbanists want.’
      • ‘That's the only way a community can be created where people either take transit to work or walk to work.’
      • ‘No strategies have been implemented by the municipal government to discourage auto transport and promote public transit.’
      • ‘Experts say that to be successful, public transit must be convenient and inexpensive, making it difficult to impose the types of strict security seen at airports.’
      • ‘In San Francisco, far more people ride transit, walk or bike to work than drive.’
      • ‘The chief argument for public transit is that it's necessary for those who can't afford cars.’
  • 2An act of passing through or across a place.

    ‘the first west-to-east transit of the Northwest Passage’
    as modifier ‘a transit airline passenger’
    • ‘They will be quarantined at the NAIA transit area and will not be allowed to leave the premises while waiting for their flight to South Korea.’
    • ‘Nor does the Immigration Office know the whereabouts of dozens of foreign transit passengers who get lost at Korean airports every year.’
    • ‘Those transit passengers are being subjected to more scrutiny, a more careful look being given specifically to their shoes and to their clothes and to their electronics.’
    • ‘Areas visited included Charles de Gaulle airport, its immigration waiting areas, transit areas, and police and customs holding facilities.’
    • ‘The officials said they have stepped up checks on passengers arriving or making transit stops at the airport.’
    • ‘Eventually, transit passengers will be able to visit the Transit Authority web site to see if the route they are taking is running on-schedule, able to make any changes to plans that might be necessary.’
    • ‘At that time, the international transit area was not regarded as French territory.’
    • ‘The airport's transit area has the legal status of an extraterritorial zone.’
    • ‘One of the special features of the bus terminus is the pedestrian subway connecting all platforms, ensuring safe transit of passengers.’
    • ‘The U.S. can impose substantial restrictions on assistance to areas labeled as major drug-producing or transit areas.’
    • ‘The remaining 400,000 were transit - or stopover - passengers.’
    • ‘Although the guide only covers departures, it provides a useful steer on optimum transit times for passengers booking a connecting flight and could influence your choice of airport.’
    1. 2.1Astronomy The passage of an inferior planet across the face of the sun, or of a moon or its shadow across the face of a planet.
      • ‘Certainly this would make sense since Theon was both an observer and a mathematician who had written on astronomical topics such as conjunctions, eclipses, occultations and transits.’
      • ‘Besides a couple of eclipses slated for May, sky watchers would witness transits of two planets over the disk of the Sun.’
      • ‘Six Venus transits have occurred since the invention of the telescope, in 1631, 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874 and 1882.’
      • ‘Over a mere five occurrences these transits of Venus had shifted from events of astronomical importance to a sideshow with mere curiosity value.’
      • ‘The transits of the Planet of Love happen in pairs, eight years apart every century.’
      • ‘The first to been seen was in 1639, and the time between transits was later predicted by Edmond Halley (the guy with the comet).’
      • ‘None of the astronomers who witnessed the past five transits of Venus are alive today, but they surely reflected on the rarity of what they saw - a reminder of the brevity of human life.’
      • ‘Only two planets can undergo transits of the Sun: Mercury and Venus.’
      • ‘In fact, Venus transits are rare and the last such event happened in 1882.’
      • ‘In particular he was involved with timing the transits of Venus, a subject we discuss in Chapter 13.’
      • ‘Many Archetypal Astrologers feel that all major cosmic events, such as eclipses and transits, are actually interactive in the most personal sense.’
      • ‘Anyone who missed it this time will have another chance in eight years time - if they are willing to travel to Australia where another transit of Venus will be visible.’
      • ‘Transits of Mercury are more common than transits of Venus, and occur every three to thirteen years.’
      • ‘The early transits were actually momentous occasions in the world of astronomy.’
      • ‘The next major figure in the history of transits of Venus was Edmond Halley, of comet fame.’
      • ‘In the nineteenth century, rare transits of Venus across the surface of the Sun were used to prove that Venus was enveloped in an atmosphere.’
      • ‘Unfortunately because the orbit of Venus is inclined to the earth's orbit by about three and a half degrees, these transits of Venus don't take place very often.’
      • ‘The circumstances of the transits of Venus repeat themselves with great exactness after a period of 243 years.’
      • ‘He proposed using transits of Mercury to determine the distance of the Sun and therefore the scale of the solar system using Kepler's third law.’
      • ‘The story of the transits of Venus begins in 1627, just three years before the death of the German astronomer Johannes Kepler.’
    2. 2.2Astronomy The apparent passage of a celestial body across the meridian of a place.
    3. 2.3Astrology The passage of a celestial body through a specified sign, house, or area of a chart.
      • ‘By the classical era the Sun's transit through the zodiac sign had taken precedence and Virgo became more directly perceived as a Maiden of fruition through the Harvest.’
      • ‘All of my Gemini friends have had some unpleasant experiences with this last transit of Saturn through Gemini.’
      • ‘When this aspect is active by transit, you may be easily irritated and argue at the slightest provocation.’
      • ‘In the same period transit Saturn in Taurus was making two passes over natal Pluto.’
      • ‘It seems to me like the awful transit of Saturn through Cancer brings much trouble in areas like the home, family, terminal periods of life, health and care, real estate - you know it well.’
      • ‘This celestial transit will make you feel highly critical of an ongoing situation in your life.’
  • 3informal A tool used by surveyors to measure horizontal angles.

    • ‘The pros use a surveying tool called a transit for leveling work like this.’
    • ‘As the Aberdeen ranges were not yet ready, he fired the gun across an empty field and measured the range with a common surveyor's transit.’
    • ‘For many years, the optical transit was the surveyor's tool of choice to lay out property lines and building sites.’
    • ‘As they began setting it up she recognised it as surveying tools - transit and pole and chain.’


[with object]
  • 1Pass across or through (an area)

    ‘the new large ships will be too big to transit the Panama Canal’
    • ‘For she was allowed transit the airport even though she had no passport and was carrying a gun.’
    • ‘It will be transited via Greece, but the fees that will be asked are not yet clear.’
    • ‘This will not apply to people transiting Bulgaria or who will leave the country within 24 hours.’
    • ‘It will allow them to transit Jordan on their way to other destinations.’
    • ‘After the white light transits the measurement cell, a fiber-optic cable collects it and relays it to a spectral distribution system.’
    • ‘Arnold also had to battle geographic commanders who tried to hijack command of assets when they transited their specific areas.’
    • ‘Between 20 000 and 22 000 million cubic metres of gas will be transited via the pipeline a year.’
    • ‘We rendezvoused and transited to the working area.’
    • ‘It's traditional to wish young people success as they transit from child to adult with the flip of a silk tassel.’
    • ‘No recreational or commercial fishing is allowed, or diving or snorkeling, and vessels transiting the area must stow fishing gear.’
    • ‘I watched beautiful red-throated divers and the wintering barnacle geese transit the abandoned Isle of Innismurray, a few miles offshore.’
    • ‘The old man was transiting the Atlantic by ship.’
    • ‘The tags appeared on some high-priority cargo pallets transiting Shannon Airport aboard US-flagged aircraft last summer.’
    • ‘Working day over night, he developed a way to securely to transit the money from the school's bank account to his own hands in cash.’
    • ‘In other areas as well, aircraft transited the Mediterranean and flew from the Pacific regions into the theater of operations.’
    • ‘According to him, there is no information about whether there are clients for the oil that will be transited.’
    • ‘In some cases this would mean countries taking back immigrants who were not their own nationals but who may have transited their land.’
    • ‘The present link, which transits through the Panama Canal, includes port calls at Hong Kong, Shekou, Qingdao and Shanghai.’
    • ‘It was concluded also that 100bn cubic metres of natural gas could be transited via Bulgarian territory annually.’
    1. 1.1Astronomy (of a planet or other celestial body) pass across (a meridian or the face of another body).
      • ‘However, eclipse effects are not usually felt until there is some sort of trigger - a planet transiting over the point, for instance.’
      • ‘During this event, Venus shall transit the face of the sun for about five hours.’
      • ‘When the planet transits the star, it blocks a small amount of the star's light; it's essentially a miniature solar eclipse.’
      • ‘People won't really see a planet transiting the Sun.’
      • ‘More than 200 astronomy enthusiasts gathered at a Ribble Valley observatory for a rare sighting of the planet Mercury transiting the sun.’
      • ‘Mercury and Venus are the only planets that orbit closer to the Sun than the Earth, so they are the only planets that can transit the Sun.’
    2. 1.2Astrology (of a celestial body) pass across (a specified sign, house, or area of a chart).
      • ‘Mars is transiting his natal chart in Pisces, the sign of deception, and also in the 11 th house, the house of friends.’
      • ‘Saturn transits each sign in about 29.5 months and crosses three signs in about 7 and a half years, hence the reference to sadesati.’
      • ‘With Pluto transiting my 4th house, I can see that a phase of my life has come to a close, but I feel quite paralysed and can't see what changes to make.’
      • ‘When Saturn transits the sign of karka or cancer and again when it crosses scorpio or vrischik, the individual will experience the panoti or adhayia of Saturn.’
      • ‘Of course, there's a saying that when Jupiter transits three signs in a year, there will be lots of floods - and aren't we having that!’


Late Middle English (denoting passage from one place to another): from Latin transitus, from transire ‘go across’.