verb (used with object)

to rise above or go beyond; overpass; exceed: to transcend the limits of thought; kindness transcends courtesy.
to outdo or exceed in excellence, elevation, extent, degree, etc.; surpass; excel.
Theology. (of the Deity) to be above and independent of (the universe, time, etc.).

verb (used without object)

to be transcendent or superior; excel: His competitiveness made him want to transcend.

Origin of transcend

1300–50; Middle English < Latin trānscendere to surmount, equivalent to trāns- trans- + -scendere, combining form of scandere to climb
Related formstran·scend·ing·ly, adverbun·tran·scend·ed, adjective

Synonyms for transcend Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for transcend

Contemporary Examples of transcend

Historical Examples of transcend

  • Yet in no instance did he transcend the ordinary usages of Indian warfare.

    King Philip

    John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

  • Had he come at last to transcend her idea with some even greater purpose?

    The Coast of Chance

    Esther Chamberlain

  • Some of these experiences, such as how to handle fire, transcend nourishment.

  • The practice of signs entails the possibility to transcend the present.

  • At first, then, a child can not transcend himself or his experiences.

    Here and Now Story Book

    Lucy Sprague Mitchell

British Dictionary definitions for transcend



to go above or beyond (a limit, expectation, etc), as in degree or excellence
(tr) to be superior to
philosophy theol (esp of the Deity) to exist beyond (the material world)
Derived Formstranscendingly, adverb

Word Origin for transcend

C14: from Latin trānscendere to climb over, from trans- + scandere to climb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for transcend

mid-14c., from Latin transcendere "climb over or beyond, surmount," from trans- "beyond" (see trans-) + scandere "to climb" (see scan (v.)). Related: Transcended; transcending.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper