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

  • adj. Grammar Expressing an action carried from the subject to the object; requiring a direct object to complete meaning. Used of a verb or verb construction.
  • adj. Characterized by or involving transition.
  • adj. Logic & Mathematics Of or relating to a relationship between three elements such that if the relationship holds between the first and second elements and between the second and third elements, it necessarily holds between the first and third elements. Examples of transitive relationships are equality for numbers and divisibility for integers.
  • n. Grammar A transitive verb.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Making a transit or passage.
  • adj. Affected by transference of signification.
  • adj. Taking an object or objects.
  • adj. Having the property that if an element x is related to y and y is related to z, then x is necessarily related to z.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having the power of making a transit, or passage.
  • adj. Effected by transference of signification.
  • adj. Passing over to an object; expressing an action which is not limited to the agent or subject, but which requires an object to complete the sense.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In Eskimo gram., noting the case expressing the subject of a transitive verb and the owner of an object. Also called subjective.
  • In mathematics, having the quality or power of transmutation, transmission, or transition: as, a group transitive in respect of a set of objects.
  • Having the power of passing, or making transition; passing over into something.
  • Effected by, or existing as the result of, transference or extension of signification; derivative; secondary; metaphorical.
  • In grammar, taking a direct object; followed by a substantive in an accusative relation: said of a verb, or of the action expressed by a verb.
  • Serving as a medium or means of transition.
  • n. A transitive verb.

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

  • n. a verb (or verb construction) that requires an object in order to be grammatical
  • adj. designating a verb that requires a direct object to complete the meaning


Late Latin trānsitīvus, passing over (translation of Greek diabibastikos), from trānsitus, past participle of trānsīre, to go over; see transient.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin transitivus, from transitus, from trans ("across") + itus, from eo ("to go"). (Wiktionary)



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