[ tran-sen-den-tl, -suhn- ]
See synonyms for transcendental on
  1. transcendent, surpassing, or superior.

  2. being beyond ordinary or common experience, thought, or belief; supernatural.

  1. abstract or metaphysical.

  2. idealistic, lofty, or extravagant.

  3. Philosophy.

    • beyond the contingent and accidental in human experience, but not beyond all human knowledge.: Compare transcendent (def. 4b).

    • pertaining to certain theories, etc., explaining what is objective as the contribution of the mind.

    • Kantianism. of, pertaining to, based upon, or concerned with a priori elements in experience, which condition human knowledge.: Compare transcendent (def. 4b).

  1. Mathematics. transcendental number.

  2. transcendentals, Scholasticism. categories that have universal application, as being, one, true, good.

Origin of transcendental

From the Medieval Latin word trānscendentālis, dating back to 1615–25. See transcendent, -al1

Other words from transcendental

  • tran·scen·den·tal·i·ty, noun
  • tran·scen·den·tal·ly, adverb
  • un·tran·scen·den·tal, adjective
  • un·tran·scen·den·tal·ly, adverb

Words Nearby transcendental Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use transcendental in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for transcendental


/ (ˌtrænsɛnˈdɛntəl) /

  1. transcendent, superior, or surpassing

  2. (in the philosophy of Kant)

    • (of a judgment or logical deduction) being both synthetic and a priori

    • of or relating to knowledge of the presuppositions of thought

  1. philosophy beyond our experience of phenomena, although not beyond potential knowledge

  2. theol surpassing the natural plane of reality or knowledge; supernatural or mystical

Derived forms of transcendental

  • transcendentality, noun
  • transcendentally, adverb

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