early 14c., "pass across, over, or through," from Old French traverser "to cross, place across" (11c.), from Vulgar Latin *traversare, from Latin transversare "to cross, throw across," from Latin transversus "turn across" (see transverse). As an adjective from early 15c. Related: Traversed; traversing.
"act of passing through a gate, crossing a bridge, etc.," mid-14c., from Old French travers, from traverser (see traverse (v.)). Meaning "a passage by which one may traverse" is recorded from 1670s. Military fortification sense of "barrier, barricade" is recorded from 1590s.