The Prefix Trans- (Definitions, 52 Examples, Video, PDF)

Learning suffixes and prefixes is an awesome way to increase your English vocabulary. The prefix trans- is used in some common English verbs, adjectives, and nouns. This post will teach you everything you need to know about the prefix trans-.

The Prefix trans- is used in adjectives to mean beyond or across
transparent – allowing you to see through it
– Glass is transparent.
and in verbs to mean into another place or state
transport – to take something/somebody from one place to another in a vehicle
– We need a car to transport the books.

Learn many different ways to use the prefix trans- with lots of helpful, natural example sentences. Keep reading.

The Prefix Trans- Meaning

The prefix trans- means across or beyond in adjectives.

Transatlantic = Across the Atlantic Ocean. 

  • The luxury cruise ship made its first transatlantic Journey in 2009. 
  • The airline just added three new transatlantic routes to its winter schedule. 

Transcontinental = Across a continent. 

  • The transcontinental railway is important to the economy. It allows goods to be shipped easily to distant locations. 
  • Environmental activists are trying to stop the gas company from building a transcontinental pipeline through protected areas. 

The prefix trans- means into another place or state in verbs.

Transplant = To take someone’s organ, skin, etc. and put it into or onto another person

  • New medical technology allows doctors to transplant organs into older patients with great success.
  • Surgeons successfully transplanted a new kidney into Murray last week. He is no longer diabetic. 

Transform = To change the form of something

  • The real estate company transformed an old factory into modern apartments and condominiums. 
  • I just bought my son a toy car that transforms into a robot. He loves it.

Prefix trans- Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries

Prefix TRANS- word origin
This prefix comes from the Latin word trans which means across.

The Word Trans As An Adjective

The adjective trans means having a gender identity that does not match the sex a person was said to have at birth

  • Elliot Page is a Canadian trans actor. He is known for movies like Juno and Inception and the popular Netflix show The Umbrella Academy.

The Prefix Trans- (Verbs)

transact – to do business with a person or an organization

  • They don’t teach you how to transact with customers in Business School. This is something you have to learn from experience. 

transcend – to be or go beyond the usual limits of something

  • His paintings transcended any of the work being done by other painters in his time.

transcribe – to record thoughts, speech or data in a written form, or in a different written form from the original

  • They are creating software that can transcribe voice messages from your phone.

transfer – 1. to move from one place to another; to move something/somebody from one place to another

  • I transferred $2,000 from my savings account to my chequing account. 

2. to move from one job, school, situation, etc. to another; to arrange for somebody to move

  • My father transferred a lot for his job so my family was always moving. I went to 6 different schools in my life before I started University.

3. to copy information, music, an idea, etc. from one method of recording or presenting it to another; to be recorded or presented in a different way

  • I transferred all the important data onto a USB drive for insurance. 

4.  to officially arrange for something to belong to somebody else or for somebody else to control something

  • He transferred ownership of the property to his son. 

5. to send a phone call that you have received to another phone number

  • My call was transferred to human resources 15 minutes ago. I’m still on hold.

transfigure – to change the appearance of a person or thing so that they look more beautiful

  • The early morning sunshine transfigured her face into an angel. 

transfix – to make somebody unable to move because they are afraid, surprised, etc.

  • I saw her step out of the limo and I was transfixed by her beauty. 

transform – 1. to change the form of something; to change in form

  • The real estate company transformed the old factory into modern apartments and condominiums. 

2. to completely change the appearance or character of something/somebody, especially so that it is better; to completely change in appearance or character

  • The experience transformed Steven’s life.

transfuse – to put new blood into the body of a person or an animal

  • The doctor needed to transfuse new blood into the patient after the accident. 

transgress – to go beyond the limit of what is morally or legally acceptable

  • The primitive people punished anyone who transgressed against their Moon God. 

transit – to pass across or through an area

  • Hundreds of planes transit in and out of the terminal every day. 

translate – 1. to express the meaning of speech or writing in a different language 

  • They asked me to translate the message into English. 

transmit – to send an electronic signal, radio or television broadcast, etc.

  • The signal was being transmitted from a satellite in space. 

transmogrify – to change somebody/something completely, especially in a surprising way
*This is not a common word at all! I included it in this list because of my favorite newspaper comic strip ‘Calvin and Hobbes.’

It’s a comic strip about a boy (Calvin) and his stuffed tiger (Hobbes) who comes to life in Calvin’s imagination.

They built a machine called a transmogrifier from a cardboard box.  The machine could turn one thing into another in Calvin’s imagination. 


transmute – to change, or make something change, into something different

  • At one time people tried to transmute lead into gold. This is impossible. 

transpire – 1. if it transpires that something has happened or is true, it is known or has been shown to be true 

  • What he told the police, it later transpired, was a lie. 

2. [intransitive] to happen

  • I arrive at the airport 3 hours before my flight so I could check my bags early. What transpired next is unbelievable. 

transplant – 1. to take an organ, skin, etc. from one person, animal, part of the body, etc. and put it into or onto another 

  • Surgeons successfully transplanted a new kidney into Murray last week. He is no longer diabetic. 

2. to move a growing plant and plant it somewhere else

  • I transplanted some roses from my back garden to the flower pot in front of my house.

transport – 1. to take something/somebody from one place to another in a vehicle

  • This train transports seeds and grain across the country. 

2. to make somebody feel that they are in a different place, time or situation

  • I loved to read when I was in elementary school. The books transported me to many different magical worlds. 

transpose – 1. to change the order of two or more things 

  • A few of the words got transposed so we have to print the document again. 

2. to move or change something to a different place or environment or into a different form

  • The director reimagined the story and transposed the characters from the 17th century to modern times. 

The Prefix Trans- (Adjectives)

transatlantic – crossing the Atlantic Ocean

  • The luxury cruise ship made its first transatlantic Journey in 2009.

Five hundred years before Columbus, a daring band of Vikings led by Leif Eriksson crossed the Atlantic Ocean to North America and established a settlement.
Vikings is the modern name given to seafaring people originally from Scandinavia (present-day Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) Source

transcendent – going beyond the usual limits; extremely great

  • Carol is an excellent chef. Her cooking skills are transcendent

transcontinental – crossing a continent

  • The transcontinental railway is an important part of the economy. It allows goods to be shipped easily to distant locations.

transferable – that can be moved from one place, person or use to another

  • I’m sorry, this coupon is from another store. It’s not transferable

*The opposite is often written as the compound adjective non-transferable

  • I’m sorry, this coupon is from another store. It’s non-transferable.

Learn more ways to use NO, NONE, and NON at my helpful post here >

transgender – describing or relating to people whose gender identity does not match the sex they were said to have at birth *See also transsexual

  • The university is installing transgender bathrooms. 

transient – 1. continuing for only a short time 

  • The cherry tree blossoms bloom for just a few weeks before they’re gone. It reminds us of the transient nature of all things. 

2. staying or working in a place for only a short time, before moving on

  • Farmers sometimes hire transient workers to help them pick their crops in the fall.

transitional – connected with the process of changing from one state or condition to another

  • The citizens created a transitional government until a new mayor could be elected. 

transitive – (grammar) (of verbs) used with a direct object

  • RAISE is a transitive verb so it must be followed directly by an object. 

Would you like to learn more about transitive and intransitive verbs? Visit my helpful post here >

transitory – continuing for only a short time

  • All feelings, good and bad, are transitory. You should appreciate the happy times when they are here and understand that the sad times will eventually pass. 

transpacific – crossing or extending across the Pacific Ocean

  • Transpacific airfare prices increase during typhoon season. 

transparent – allowing you to see through it

  • The smartphone has a transparent back panel so you can see inside the phone. 

transverse – in a position or direction that is at an angle of 90° to something else

  • The surgeon made a transverse incision (cut) below the patient’s ribcage. 

The Prefix Trans- (Nouns)

Most of the nouns in this list come from adding a suffix to the end of a verb form. 

transition -altransitional

For more examples of the suffix -al check out my great blog post here >

transaction – a piece of business that is done between people, especially an act of buying or selling

  • The manager’s company credit card had a few suspicious transactions last month. 

transcendence – the ability to go beyond the usual limits; existence or experience beyond the normal or physical level

  • Victoria experienced a kind of transcendence during her spiritual retreat in the mountains. She felt her spirit leave her body at one point. 

transcript – a written or printed copy of words that have been spoken

  • I couldn’t attend the meeting so my secretary emailed me a transcript of what was talked about. 

transference – the process of moving something from one place, person or use to another

  • In cold weather survival situations, people need to stay close together. The transference of heat can help keep people warm and alive.

transformation – a complete change in somebody/something

  • Over the summer Jim grew 11 cm, gained 4 kg of muscle, and started to grow a mustache. He had a complete transformation

transformer – a device for reducing or increasing the voltage of an electric power supply, usually to allow a particular piece of electrical equipment to be used

  • Repairmen came to fix the damaged transformer and bring electricity back to the neighborhood. 
A kind of transformer.

Transformer. (2022, September 27). In Wikipedia.

transfusion – the process of putting new blood into the body of a person or an animal

  • Blood transfusions save thousands of lives every year. Source

The first blood transfusion happened in 1666 in England.

transgression – an act that goes beyond the limits of what is morally or legally acceptable

  • People were growing tired of Max’s constant transgressions

transgressor – a person who goes beyond the limit of what is morally or legally acceptable

  • Sometimes society’s worst transgressors are just people who need help and support. 

transient – a person who stays or works in a place for only a short time, before moving on

  • Farmers sometimes hire foreign workers and other transients to help them pick their crops in the fall. 

transistor – a small electronic device used in computers, radios, televisions, etc. for controlling an electric current as it passes along a circuit

  • My old radio stopped working last week. I need to buy a new transistor.
Kinds of transistors.

Transistor. (2022, September 27). In Wikipedia.

transit – 1. the process of being moved or carried from one place to another 

  • I think Amazon needs to hire more responsible drivers. Many products get damaged in transit

Here are 4 compound words with TRANSIT

mass transit
[uncountable] (North American English)​ the system of public transport in cities, including the subway, buses, etc. 

rapid transit
[uncountable] (especially North American English) ​the system of fast public transport in cities, especially the subway 

transit camp
a camp that provides temporary accommodation for refugees 

public transit noun
[uncountable] (North American English) *The same as mass transit​ the system of public transport in cities, including the subway, buses, etc.
Tokyo has amazing public transit.

transition – 1. the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another 

  • Some students have a hard time making the transition from school to full-time work. 

2. the process of starting to live your life as a person of a different sex, to match your gender identity

  • Allen’s family was supportive of his transition to become Allison. 

translation – the process of changing something that is written or spoken into another language

  • I laugh when I see strange English translations on Japanese signs, but I know they’re trying. The signs are there to help foreigners in Japan so I appreciate that. 

translator – a person who translates writing or speech into a different language, especially as a job

  • My friend Paul works as a French translator for a big European trading company. 

transmission – the act or process of passing something from one person, place or thing to another

  • Many places set up social distancing guidelines to limit the transmission of the virus. 

transmitter – a piece of equipment used for sending electronic signals, especially radio or television signals

  • My grandfather has an old radio transmitter from when he served in the army in the 1960s. It still works but I think there’s no one who can pick up the signal. The technology is too old. 

transparency – 1. the quality of something, such as a situation or an argument, that makes it easy to understand 

  • Citizens demand transparency from the government. I want to see what is happening very clearly. 

2. the quality of something, such as glass, that allows you to see through it

  • The glass on the windows is frosted to prevent people from seeing inside. There is very little transparency in the glass. 
This desk is behind frosted glass. It is not transparent.

Frosted glass. (2022, April 3). In Wikipedia.

transplant – 1.  a medical operation in which a damaged organ, etc. is replaced with one from another person 

  • Kelly went to the hospital for a kidney transplant

transponder – a device that receives a radio signal and then sends out a different signal in reply

  • The bank employee slipped a transponder into the bag of money so they could track it after the robbers took it from a building. 

  • A transponder lets you quickly and easily access electronic toll highways.

This is a transponder for the ETR (Express Toll Route), a highway that runs through Toronto Ontario, Canada. It’s small and can fit on your car dashboard.

Transponder. (2022, July 18). In Wikipedia.

Did you know? The term is a blend of transmitter and responder. SOURCE

transport – 1. a system for carrying people or goods from one place to another using vehicles, roads, etc.

  • Countries that produce oil need a good transport system to sell to the global market. 

2. [uncountable] a vehicle or method of travel

  • In Japan, my bicycle is my main mode of transport. I ride it everywhere. 

3. the activity or business of carrying goods from one place to another using truck, trains, etc.

  • The company invested in some modern trucks to reduce the number of products damaged during transport.

transvestite – a person, especially a man, who enjoys dressing in clothes usually worn by the opposite sex

  • The show had many transvestite performers playing the roles of some famous female singers and actresses. 

Printable Prefix Trans- PDF

Download a 6-page PDF with the content from this post at the link below.

This is a list of common words that use the prefix trans, but it is not a complete list! If you can think of any words with this prefix that I left out, please tell me in the comments!

Also, let me know if there are electronic toll roads in your country.

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