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 (trăn′zē-əns, zhəns, -shəns) also tran·si·en·cy (-zē-ən-sē, -zhən-, -shən-)
The state or quality of being transient.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

transience, transiency

the state or quality of passing with time or being ephemeral or fleeting. — transient, adj.
See also: Time
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.




  1. About as fixed as liquid mercury —Leslie Bennetts, New York Times, June 8, 1986
  2. The brilliant passes like the dew at dawn —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    In Faust, from which this is taken, Goethe continues by presenting the other side of the coin: “The true endures for ages yet unborn.”

  3. Burnt like a faggot in a tempest —Willa Cather
  4. Changed them like underwear —Paige Mitchell

    In Mitchell’s novel, The Covenant, law clerks are what are being so changed.

  5. (His smile) comes and goes as quickly as snow —Robert Goldberg about film maker Alain Renais, Wall Street Journal, March 24, 1987


  6. Disposable as extra income —Anon
  7. Disposable as razor blades —Anon
  8. Disposable as TV dinner containers —Anon
  9. Enduring as a summer shower —Anon
  10. Ephemeral as butterflies —Susan Heller Anderson on literary magazines, New York TimesColumn One, October 24, 1986
  11. Ephemeral things, like movement, are manifestations of immortality —Joanne Selzer

    This is the closing line for a poem entitled Prima Ballerina.

  12. Flare briefly like the candles upon a cake —Donald Justice
  13. (Embrace … ) fleeting as a bird’s poise —Edith Wharton
  14. Fleeting as a dream of night lost in the garish day —Aeschylus
  15. Fleeting as a raspberry season —Line from television drama, “St. Elsewhere,” broadcast December 16, 1986
  16. Fleeting as the estate of man —Marcus Aurelius
  17. A fleeting gratification … like alms thrown to the beggar, that keeps him alive today that his misery may be prolonged till the morrow —Lynne Sharon Schwartz
  18. How fading are the joys we dote upon! Like apparitions seen and gone —John Norris
  19. Like a rainbow, spectacular but short-lived —Anon

    A variation: “Like a shooting star —spectacular but shortlived.”

  20. Like water thrown on the sand: it [media campaign about energy crisis] left little trace —George F. Will
  21. Mortality weights heavily on me like unwilling sleep —John Keats
  22. (The moment of agitation) passed (from his gaze) like a cloud, leaving a clear blue sky —Christopher Isherwood
  23. Passing through a certain stage, something rather like an illness —Thomas Mann
  24. Permanent as a temporary price increase —Anon
  25. Temporary as an idea in an empty head —Anon
  26. Temporary as a wave —Anon
  27. (Beauty is as) temporary as flowers —Anon
  28. Transience (His self-possession was) temporary, like a reflection in water that may be wiped out at the first swell —Saul Bellow
  29. (His love was as) transient as the first golden streaks of dawn —Harry Prince
  30. Transitory as childhood —Lawrence Durrell
  31. Will last about as long as a snowball in hell —Anon
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Transience - an impermanence that suggests the inevitability of ending or dyingtransience - an impermanence that suggests the inevitability of ending or dying
impermanence, impermanency - the property of not existing for indefinitely long durations
fugaciousness, fugacity - the lack of enduring qualities (used chiefly of plant parts)
ephemerality, ephemeralness, fleetingness - the property of lasting for a very short time
2.Transience - the attribute of being brief or fleetingtransience - the attribute of being brief or fleeting
length, duration - continuance in time; "the ceremony was of short duration"; "he complained about the length of time required"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


[ˈtrænzɪəns] Nlo pasajero, transitoriedad f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈtrænziəns] n (formal)caractère m transitoire
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


n (of life)Kürze f, → Vergänglichkeit f; (of grief, joy)Kurzlebigkeit f, → Vergänglichkeit f; (of interest)Kurzlebigkeit f, → Flüchtigkeit f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈtrænzɪəns] n (frm) → transitorietà
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
References in classic literature ?
I began to perceive more deeply than it has ever yet been stated, the trembling immateriality, the mistlike transience, of this seemingly so solid body in which we walk attired.
By talking about the transience of human life, in this case his own, he is actually hinting at the impermanence of things around us social mobility, relationships, political goings-on etc.
Even in the face of technology's expanding scope and speed, and the resulting nearly ubiquitous reach of social media, today's new cottage appeals to our increasing need to balance transience and durability, togetherness and solitude, the high tech and the home spun.
Silhouettes are inspired by this concept along with a traditional Japanese aesthetic; Wabi-Sabi which is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection.
All of this austerity is going to take several years to achieve (and not cheap) and the transience of politics and governments in general has to be borne in mind.
The 20-year-old's new release called Transience, while drawing inspiration from her beloved Galloway, is a natural progression and shows a more introspective side to her writing.
Voices acknowledges poets whose enduring words stand against cultural fragmentation, as Nye explores the space between transience and permanence, describing memory as both ephemeral and archival.
People in other large and small cities were doing same across the country, he says, but the task of identifying with the US capital city and caring for its neighborhoods was more urgent there because of the lack of democratic municipal government, the strongly symbolic and national character of its urban core, and the apparent transience of a large part of its population.
Sukkot wasn't primarily on my mind when I wrote the poem, but its underlying motives of giving and losing shelter, fleeting joy, and the convergence of transience and permanence echo some of the holiday's themes.