• adjective passing or temporary, lasting only a short time


  • adjective used to describe a state or signal which is present for a short period of time
  • noun something which is present for a short period


  • A very brief, and usually pronounced, condition, circumstance, event, or phenomenon. Examples include spikes, a sudden liberation of energy, or an abrupt increase in the magnitude of a sound. A system is said to be in a steady state once the effects of a transient have passed, and transients may be considered as temporary phenomena occurring between steady states.
  • A voltage or current spike occurring as a result of a temporary or unexpected condition or event, such as a lightning strike or a significant change in an input or driving signal.
  • That whose duration is very brief. For example, an impulse.


  • adjective not lasting long

Origin & History of “transient”

English adapted transient from trānsiēns, the present participle of Latin trānsīre ‘go over’. this was a compound verb formed from the prefix trāns- ‘across, over’ and īre ‘go’ (source also of English coitus, exit, obituary, etc). Also from trānsīre come English trance (14th c.), transit (15th c.), transition (16th c.), transitive (16th c.), and transitory (14th c.).