A transition is a change from one thing to the next, either in action or state of being—as in a job transition or as in the much more dramatic example of a caterpillar making a transition into a butterfly.

Transition is awfully reassuring in its tidy reliance on regular forms. Trans means "cross," so when you hear it at the beginning of a word you know that it indicates crossing, as in transatlantic or translate. An odd thing happening with transition lately is that it is transitioning from its familiar form as a noun to a newer life as a verb, as in “We’re going to transition Gloria to that new job.”

Definitions of transition

n the act of passing from one state or place to the next

fossilisation, fossilization
becoming inflexible or out of date
the act of changing smoothly from one state or situation to another
Type of:
change of state
the act of changing something into something different in essential characteristics

n an event that results in a transformation

changeover, conversion
the conversion of glucose to glycogen when the glucose in the blood exceeds the demand
isomerisation, isomerization
the conversion of a compound into an isomer of itself
the conversion of alternating current to direct current
Type of:
shift, transformation, transmutation
a qualitative change

n a change from one place or state or subject or stage to another

ground swell
an obvious change of public opinion or political sentiment that occurs without leadership or overt expression
jump, leap, saltation
an abrupt transition
quantum jump
(physics) an abrupt transition of an electron or atom or molecule from one quantum state to another with the emission or absorption of a quantum
Type of:
alteration, change, modification
an event that occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another

n a passage that connects a topic to one that follows

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a transition (in literary or theatrical works or films) to an earlier event or scene that interrupts the normal chronological development of the story
a transition (in literary or theatrical works or films) to a later event or scene that interrupts the normal chronological development of the story
(film) a gradual transition from one scene to the next; the next scene is gradually superimposed as the former scene fades out
(film) an immediate transition from one shot to the next
(film) an abrupt transition from one scene to another
jump cut
an immediate transition from one scene to another
Type of:
a section of text; particularly a section of medium length

n a musical passage moving from one key to another

Type of:
musical passage, passage
a short section of a musical composition

v cause to convert or undergo a transition

“the company had to transition the old practices to modern technology”
Type of:
change the nature, purpose, or function of something

v make or undergo a transition (from one state or system to another)

“The airline transitioned to more fuel-efficient jets”
“The adagio transitioned into an allegro”
Type of:
change, shift, switch
lay aside, abandon, or leave for another

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