The definition of transitive is a grammar term used to refer to verbs that carry from the subject to the object and require a direct object.
In the sentence "Penny kicked John," kicked is an example of a transitive verb. John is the direct object.
- Rare of, showing, or characterized by transition; transitional
- Gram. expressing an action thought of as passing over to and having an effect on some person or thing; taking a direct object: said of certain verbs
- Math. designating a relation having the property that, whenever a first element bears a particular relation to a second that in turn bears this same relation to a third, the first element bears this relation to the third: identity and equality are transitive relations
Origin of transitiveLate Latin transitivus ; from Classical Latin transitus: see transit
a transitive verb
- Abbr. trans. or tr. or t. 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.
- Characterized by or involving transition.
- Logic & Mathematics Of or relating to a binary relation such that, whenever one element is related to a second element and the second element is related to a third element, then the first element is also related to the third element. Examples of transitive relations are “less than” for real numbers (a < b and b < c implies a < c) and divisibility for integers (a divides b and b divides c mean that a divides c).
A transitive verb.
Origin of transitiveLate Latin tr&amacron;nsit&imacron;vus, passing over (translation of Greek diabibastikos), from tr&amacron;nsitus, past participle of tr&amacron;ns&imacron;re, to go over; see transient.
- tran′si·tive·ness, tran′si·tiv′i·ty
- Making a transit or passage.
- Affected by transference of signification.
- (grammar, of a verb) Taking an object or objects.
- The English verb "to notice" is a transitive verb, because we say things like "She noticed a problem".
- (set theory, of a relation on a set) 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.
- "Is an ancestor of" is a transitive relation: if Alice is an ancestor of Bob, and Bob is an ancestor of Carol, then Alice is an ancestor of Carol.
- (algebra, of a group action) Such that, for any two elements of the acted-upon set, some group element maps the first to the second.