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transilient, adj.

Frequency (in current use): 
Origin: A borrowing from Latin. Etymons: Latin transilient-, transiliēns, transilīre.
Etymology: < classical Latin transilient-, transiliēns, present participle of transilīre (also transsilīre) to leap across, to skip over, to omit < trans-  trans- prefix   + salīre   to leap (see salient adj.).

  Leaping or passing from one thing to another; characterized by abrupt transition or change.

1630   E. Layfield Mappe Mans Mortality & Vanity 53   Whether his affections doe adhære to the world, or are transilient and surmount the world.
1811   J. Pinkerton Petralogy I. p. v   The Transilient Rocks, an interesting series, in which one substance..passes into another, as granite into porphyry, trap into wacken.
1894   F. Galton in Mind 3 368   The inference or connotation is that no variation can establish itself unless it be of the character of a sport, that is, by a leap from one position to another, or as we may phrase it, through ‘transilient’ variation.
1994   Amer. Spectator Feb. 105/2   A transilient educational experience for all 1960s retreads not currently serving in the Clinton administration: an interactive workshop for white people to examine their daily experience of white skin privilege.

1630—1994(Hide quotations)


Special uses


transilient fibre   n.  [after scientific Latin fibrae transilientes (plural) (1890 or earlier)] Obsolete rare—0 a nerve fibre passing between non-adjacent convolutions of the brain.

1891   Cent. Dict. at Transilient   Transilient fibers, nerve-fibers passing from one convolution of the brain to another not immediately adjacent.

1891—1891(Hide quotations)


This entry has been updated (OED Third Edition, March 2019).

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