Trans"it (?), n. [L. transitus, from
transire to go over: cf. F. transit. See Transient.]
1. The act of passing; passage through or
In France you are now . . . in the transit from one
form of government to another. Burke.
2. The act or process of causing to pass;
conveyance; as, the transit of goods through a country.
3. A line or route of passage or conveyance; as,
the Nicaragua transit. E. G. Squier.
4. (Astron.) (a) The passage
of a heavenly body over the meridian of a place, or through the field of a
telescope. (b) The passage of a smaller body
across the disk of a larger, as of Venus across the sun's disk, or of a
satellite or its shadow across the disk of its primary.
5. An instrument resembling a theodolite, used by
surveyors and engineers; -- called also transit compass, and
☞ The surveyor's transit differs from the theodolite in having the
horizontal axis attached directly to the telescope which is not mounted in
Y's and can be turned completely over about the
Lower transit (Astron.), the passage of a
heavenly body across that part of the meridian which is below the polar
axis. -- Surveyor's transit. See Transit,
5, above. -- Transit circle (Astron.), a
transit instrument with a graduated circle attached, used for observing the
time of transit and the declination at one observation. See Circle,
n., 3. -- Transit compass. See
Transit, 5, above. -- Transit duty, a
duty paid on goods that pass through a country. -- Transit
instrument. (Astron.) (a) A telescope
mounted at right angles to a horizontal axis, on which it revolves with its
line of collimation in the plane of the meridian, -- used in connection
with a clock for observing the time of transit of a heavenly body over the
meridian of a place. (b) (Surv.) A
surveyor's transit. See Transit, 5, above. -- Transit
trade (Com.), the business conected with the passage
of goods through a country to their destination. -- Upper
transit (Astron.), the passage of a heavenly body
across that part of the meridian which is above the polar axis.
Trans"it, v. t. (Astron.) To pass
over the disk of (a heavenly body).