tran·si·tion (trăn-zĭshən, -sĭsh-)
1. Change from one form, state, style, or place to another.
a. Change from one subject to another in discourse.
b. A word, phrase, sentence, or series of sentences connecting one part of a discourse to another.
a. Change from one key or tonality to another.
b. A passage connecting two themes or sections, usually changing to a new key or tonality.
4. Genetics A point mutation in which a pyrimidine is replaced by another pyrimidine, or a purine is replaced by another purine.
5. Sports The process of changing from defense to offense or offense to defense without a stoppage in play, as in basketball or hockey.
6. A period during childbirth that precedes the expulsive phase of labor, characterized by strong uterine contractions and nearly complete cervical dilation.
intr.v. tran·si·tioned, tran·si·tion·ing, tran·si·tions
1. To make a transition.
2. Sports To change from defense to offense or offense to defense without a stoppage in play.
tran·sition·al, tran·sition·ar′y (-zĭshə-nĕr′ē) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.