from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Situated or lying across; crosswise.
  • n. Something, such as a part or beam, that is transverse.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Situated or lying across; side to side, relative to some defined "forward" direction.
  • adj. Not tangent: so that a nondegenerate angle is formed between the two things intersecting.
  • v. To change from prose into verse, or from verse into prose.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Lying or being across, or in a crosswise direction; athwart; -- often opposed to longitudinal.
  • n. Anything that is transverse or athwart.
  • n. The longer, or transverse, axis of an ellipse.
  • transitive v. To overturn; to change.
  • transitive v. To change from prose into verse, or from verse into prose.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Lying or being across or in a cross direction; cross; thwart.
  • Collateral.
  • In anatomy and zoology, broader or wider than long; having its major diameter crosswise: noting various parts or organs which lie or are taken to run across other parts, or especially across the long axis of the whole body. See transversalis and transversus.
  • In botany:
  • Right and left or collateral with reference to the median plane.
  • Being at right angles to the axial direction: for example, see transverse partition, below.
  • In herpetology, specifically noting a bone of the skull which usually unites the palatine and the pterygoid bones with the maxilla.
  • In heraldry, crossing the escutcheon from one side to the opposite one.
  • Of the brain, a fissure beneath the fornix and the hemispheres, above the optic thalami, through which membranes and vessels are continued from the pia mater into the ventricles of the brain.
  • n. In anatomy, a transversalis or transversus: as, the transverse of the abdomen, perineum, or sole of the foot.
  • Crosswise; across; transversely.
  • To overturn; turn topsyturvy.
  • To change; transpose. Compare transprose.
  • To transgress; run counter.
  • n. In mathematics, a transverse axis.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. extending or lying across; in a crosswise direction; at right angles to the long axis


Latin trānsversus, from past participle of trānsvertere, to turn across : trāns, trans- + vertere, to turn; see wer-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • The term transverse is equivalent to lateral, in flying machine parlance, but there is this distinction: Transverse has reference to a machine or object which, like the main planes of an aeroplane, are broader, (that is, -- from end to end) than their length, (from front to rear).


  • Dr. Tyndall also alludes to another structure of the same kind, which he calls transverse structure, where the blue bands extend in crescent-shaped curves, more or less arched, across the surface of the glacier.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 12, No. 74, December, 1863

  • This is often called the transverse tarsal joint, and it can, with the subordinate joints of the tarsus, replace the ankle-joint in a great measure when the latter has become ankylosed.

    III. Syndesmology. 7d. Talocrural Articulation or Ankle-joint

  • A rare virus called transverse myelitis had attacked his spinal column.

    Island Packet: Home

  • He was born with what is known as a transverse facial cleft, giving him the appearance of having two faces.

    Two-Faced 'Mask' Baby In China Suffers From Horrible Deformity Called 'Transverse Facial Cleft' (VIDEO)

  • The southern portion of this ecoregion is a Center of Plant Diversity known as the transverse dry belt, and in central French Guiana is another Center known as the Saul Region.

    Guianan moist forests

  • WILLIAMS: I first came up with a planting technique called transverse planting, which involves laying the plant on its side and planting it horizontally, compared to the traditional vertical.

    CNN Transcript Mar 18, 2006

  • Rarely, the baby may lie diagonally with the shoulder ready to come out first; this is called transverse lie (see Figure 11.3).

    Chapter 13

  • Different films are available which shrink by a known amount from 10 - 35% across the film (known as the transverse direction) and by 20 -

    3 Packaging materials

  • The longitudinal framework was divided by a series of rings, called transverse frames, into seventeen compartments containing fabric gasbags.

    British Airships, Past, Present, and Future

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