AskDefine | Define transitive

Dictionary Definition

transitive adj : designating a verb that requires a direct object to complete the meaning [ant: intransitive]

User Contributed Dictionary



Latin trans across + itus, from eo, to go



  1. Making a transit or passage.
    • For all symbols are fluxional; all language is vehicular and transitive, and is good, as ferries and horses are, for conveyance, not as farms and houses are, for homestead. — Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Poet
  2. Affected by transference of signification.
    • By far the greater part of the transitive or derivative applications of words depend on casual and unaccountable caprices of the feelings or the fancy. - John Stuart Mill
  3. : Of a verb, that takes an object or objects. (compare with: intransitive.)
    • I read the book. (read is a transitive verb)
    • I read. (read is an intransitive verb)
    • Men have tried to turn "revolutionise" from a transitive to an intransitive verb. — G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
  4. : Of a relation R on a set S, such that if xRy and yRz, then xRz for all members x, y and z of S (that is, if the relation applies from one element to a second, and from the second to a third, then it also applies from the first element to the third).
    "Is an ancestor of" is a transitive relation.



making a transit or passage
affected by transference of signification
  • Dutch: overdrachtelijk
in grammar: of a verb, that takes an object or objects
in set theory
  • Czech: tranzitivní
  • French: transitif , transitive
  • German: transitiv


  • 1913}}



transitive p

Extensive Definition

The term transitivity may refer to:
In grammar
In logic and mathematics
transitive in German: Transitivität
transitive in Spanish: Transitividad
transitive in French: Transitivité

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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