Definitions

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

  • adj. Passing with time; transitory: "the transient beauty of youth” ( Lydia M. Child).
  • adj. Remaining in a place only a brief time: transient laborers.
  • adj. Physics Decaying with time, especially as a simple exponential function of time.
  • n. One that is transient, especially a hotel guest or boarder who stays for only a brief time.
  • n. Physics A transient phenomenon or property, especially a transient electric current.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Passing or disappearing with time; transitory.
  • adj. Remaining for only a brief time.
  • adj. Decaying with time, especially exponentially.
  • adj. having a positive probability of being left and never being visited again.
  • adj. Occasional; isolated; one-off; individual.
  • adj. Passing through; passing from one person to another.
  • adj. Operating beyond itself; having an external effect.
  • n. Something which is transient.
  • n. A transient phenomenon, especially an electric current; a very brief surge.
  • n. A relatively loud, non-repeating signal in an audio waveform which occurs very quickly, such as the attack of a snare drum.
  • n. A person who passes through a place for a short time; a traveller; a migrant worker
  • n. An unhoused person

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Passing before the sight or perception, or, as it were, moving over or across a space or scene viewed, and then disappearing; hence, of short duration; not permanent; not lasting or durable; not stationary; passing; fleeting; brief; transitory.
  • adj. Hasty; momentary; imperfect; brief.
  • adj. Staying for a short time; not regular or permanent.
  • n. That which remains but for a brief time.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Passing across, as from one thing or person to another; communicated.
  • Passing with time; of short duration; not permanent; not lasting or durable; temporary; as, a transient impression.
  • Hasty; momentary; passing: as, a transient glance of a landscape.
  • In music, intermediate—that is, serving as a connective, but unessential in itself: as, a transient chord, modulation, or note. Compare passing-note.
  • SynonymsTransient, Transitory, Fleeting. Strictly, transient marks the fact that a thing soon passes or will soon pass away: as, a transient impression; a transient shadow. Transitory indicates that lack of permanence is in the nature of the thing; as, transitory pleasure; this transitory life. Fleeting is by figure a stronger word than transient, though in the same line of meaning. See list under transitory.
  • n. One who or that which is temporary, passing, or not permanent.
  • n. Specifically A transient gruest.

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

  • adj. of a mental act; causing effects outside the mind
  • adj. lasting a very short time
  • n. (physics) a short-lived oscillation in a system caused by a sudden change of voltage or current or load
  • n. one who stays for only a short time

Etymologies

Alteration of Latin trānsiēns, trānseunt-, present participle of trānsīre, to go over : trāns-, over; see trans- + īre, to go.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From stem of Latin transiens, present participle of transire ("to go over, to pass") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Getting a saved transient is just like getting an option: get_transient ($transient);

    Codex - Recent changes [en]

  • $transient the unique slug used while saving the transient with set_transient ().

    Codex - Recent changes [en]

  • Most of what you print is what we call transient print.

    Paper Trail

  • The blood vessels of the heart, the neck, the brain, they're all very similar, so you build up plaques in different ways and it is possible, one cause of seizure is stroke or even what we call transient ischemic attack, a stroke that's in development but then the body can clear a blood vessel blockage.

    CNN Transcript May 18, 2008

  • And it is possible one cause of seizure is stroke or even what we call a transient ischemic attack, a stroke that's in development, but then the body can clear a blood vessel blockage.

    CNN Transcript May 17, 2008

  • We'd come in from the coolness of the outer system, chasing what they described as a transient event, a hole in space time.

    Converting obscure music files from one format to another

  • Transumerism, coming from the term transient, it's more 'I don't want to be attached to the possession' more 'I'm attached to the experiences, "' said Alexandra Aguirre Rodriguez, assistant marketing professor at Florida International University.

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  • Transumerism, coming from the term transient, it's more 'I don't want to be attached to the possession' more 'I'm attached to the experiences,'"said Alexandra Aguirre Rodriguez, assistant marketing professor at Florida International University.

    The Roanoke Times: Home page

  • Nearly everyone experiences a few nights of tossing and turning here and there, what is known as transient insomnia.

    Dawn of A New Sleep Drug?

  • The ensuing transient is ignored, possibly because the effects are very hard to calculate.

    Roll Over, Ricardo, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

Comments

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  • He had a piano, a few books: picked up transient acquaintances of a day, week, or month in the stream of travellers from all Europe.

    Joseph Conrad, "Il Conde"

    July 24, 2011