transience

If your grandmother is always talking about how quickly the years go by, she is focused on life's transience, or briefness.

Summer's quality of seeming to be over just as it's started can be described as transience — anything that feels impossibly brief has that same attribute. People most often use the noun transience when they're talking about good things, like beautiful days, a nice life, or a fun vacation, that seem to be over in an instant. The word comes from the Latin transiens, "passing over or away."

Definitions of transience
  1. noun
    the attribute of being brief or fleeting
    synonyms: brevity, briefness
    see moresee less
    type of:
    duration, length
    continuance in time
  2. noun
    an impermanence that suggests the inevitability of ending or dying
    synonyms: transiency, transitoriness
    see moresee less
    types:
    fugaciousness, fugacity
    the lack of enduring qualities (used chiefly of plant parts)
    ephemerality, ephemeralness, fleetingness
    the property of lasting for a very short time
    type of:
    impermanence, impermanency
    the property of not existing for indefinitely long durations
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week