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 transcended

Contemporary Examples of transcended

Historical Examples of transcended

  • Quip had followed quip until in their jests they transcended all bounds.

    The Tavern Knight

    Rafael Sabatini

  • At that point he had transcended the mind of the petty reformer completely.

    A Preface to Politics

    Walter Lippmann

  • But clearly he has not transcended ours, he has simply left it out.


    Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson

  • They are a people by themselves, distrustful of other peoples; they too must be transcended.

    Homer's Odyssey

    Denton J. Snider

  • Matter is the vehicle of mind, but it is dominated and transcended by it.

    Life and Matter

    Oliver Lodge

British Dictionary definitions for transcended



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 transcended



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