Use the adjective transient to describe something that always changes or moves around. If your older brother is constantly moving from city to city, you can say he’s transient.

Transient is most often used to modify nouns like nature, threat, source and cause, which suggests that the word often shows up in formal contexts, like analysis of finance or global terrorism. But it can also be used for anything that moves quickly from one thing to another, like a transient feeling or facial expression. Transient is also a noun meaning “a person who moves from place to place; a homeless person.” The word comes from Latin transire, “to pass over,” so you can think of it as describing things that are quickly passed over.

Definitions of transient
  1. adjective

    lasting a very short time

    transient beauty”
    ephemeral, fugacious, passing, short-lived, transitory

    impermanent, temporary

    not permanent; not lasting
  2. noun

    one who stays for only a short time

    transient laborers”
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    type of:

    traveler, traveller

    a person who changes location

  3. noun

    (physics) a short-lived oscillation in a system caused by a sudden change of voltage or current or load

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    type of:

    oscillation, vibration

    (physics) a regular periodic variation in value about a mean

  4. adjective

    of a mental act; causing effects outside the mind

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    immanent, subjective

    of a mental act performed entirely within the mind

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