Encyclopedia Article


In general, transient can be used to indicate anything that is passing or temporary. When used to describe people, it usually means someone who is hired for a certain job on a temporary basis (such as seasonal farm workers), or a short-term boarder who stays in a place of residency for only a limited time. The term is also often used in a derogatory way to refer to poor, migrant laborers or homeless people.

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"Toward Los Angeles, California, March 1937," photograph by Dorothea Lange, (LC-DIG-fsa-8b31799). FSA/OWI Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

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