AskDefine | Define transient

Dictionary Definition

transient adj
1 of a mental act; causing effects outside the mind [syn: transeunt] [ant: immanent]
2 enduring a very short time; "the ephemeral joys of childhood"; "a passing fancy"; "youth's transient beauty"; "love is transitory but at is eternal"; "fugacious blossoms" [syn: ephemeral, passing, short-lived, transitory, fugacious]


1 one who stays for only a short time; "transient laborers"
2 (physics) a short-lived oscillation in a system caused by a sudden change of voltage or current or load

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. Passing or disappearing with time; transitory.
  2. Remaining for only a brief time.
  3. Decaying with time, especially exponentially.
  4. Occasional; isolated; one-off; individual.
  5. Passing through; passing from one person to another.
  6. Operating beyond itself; having an external effect (antonym: immanent).


Passing or disappearing with time; transitory
Remaining for only a brief time
Decaying with time, especially exponentially
Occasional; isolated; one-off; individual
Passing through; passing from one person to another
Operating beyond itself; having an external effect


  1. Something which is transient.
  2. A transient phenomenon, especially an electric current; a very brief surge.
  3. italbrac audio A relatively loud, non-repeating signal in an audio waveform which occurs very quickly, such as the attack of a snare drum.
  4. A person who passes through a place for a short time; a traveller; a migrant worker
  5. An unhoused person


*1996, Janette Turner Hospital, Oyster, Virago Press, paperback edition, page 3
  • Then, within the space of a few months, there were more transients than there were locals, and the imbalance seemed morally wrong.

Extensive Definition

Transience means passing with time. Something which has the property of transience is said to be transient, or often simply a transient or transient state.
Examples include:
transient in German: Transient
transient in Finnish: Transientti

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

able to adapt, adaptable, adjustable, adventurer, alpinist, alterable, alterative, arising, astronaut, board-and-roomer, boarder, brief, brittle, camper, capricious, changeable, checkered, circumforaneous, climber, comers and goers, coming, commuter, compact, compendious, concise, corruptible, cosmopolite, cruiser, curt, curtal, curtate, deciduous, decurtate, disappearing, discursive, dissolving, divagatory, drifting, dying, emanating, emanative, emanent, emergent, emerging, ephemeral, errant, evanescent, evaporating, ever-changing, excursionist, explorer, fading, fare, fickle, fleeting, flexible, flitting, floating, fluid, fly-by-night, flying, footloose, footloose and fancy-free, forthcoming, fragile, frail, fugacious, fugitive, gadding, globe-girdler, globe-trotter, goer, gypsy-like, gypsyish, hajji, impermanent, impetuous, impulsive, inconstant, instantaneous, insubstantial, issuing, jet set, jet-setter, journeyer, kaleidoscopic, landloping, lessee, little, lodger, low, malleable, many-sided, mariner, meandering, melting, metamorphic, migrational, migratory, mobile, modifiable, momentaneous, momentary, mortal, mountaineer, movable, mutable, nomad, nomadic, nondurable, nonpermanent, nonuniform, palmer, passenger, passer, passerby, passing, pathfinder, paying guest, perishable, permutable, pilgrim, pioneer, plastic, protean, proteiform, rambling, ranging, renter, resilient, roaming, roomer, roving, rubberneck, rubbernecker, rubbery, sailor, shifting, short, short and sweet, short-lived, short-term, sightseer, sojourner, straggling, straphanger, straying, strolling, subject to death, succinct, summary, supple, surfacing, synoptic, temporal, temporary, temporary lodger, tenant, tourer, tourist, trailblazer, trailbreaker, traipsing, transeunt, transient guest, transitive, transitory, transmigratory, traveler, trekker, tripper, underlessee, undurable, unenduring, unstable, vagabond, vagrant, vanishing, variable, viator, visiting fireman, volatile, voortrekker, voyager, voyageur, wandering, wayfarer, world-traveler
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