• synonyms


[trans-gres, tranz-]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to violate a law, command, moral code, etc.; offend; sin.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to pass over or go beyond (a limit, boundary, etc.): to transgress bounds of prudence.
  2. to go beyond the limits imposed by (a law, command, etc.); violate; infringe: to transgress the will of God.
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Origin of transgress

1520–30; < Latin trānsgressus (past participle of trānsgredī to step across), equivalent to trāns- trans- + -gred- (combining form of gradī to step; see grade) + -tus past participle suffix, with dt > ss
Related formstrans·gres·sive, adjectivetrans·gres·sive·ly, adverbtrans·gres·sor, nounnon·trans·gres·sive, adjectivenon·trans·gres·sive·ly, adverbun·trans·gressed, adjective


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3. obey.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for transgress


  1. to break (a law, rule, etc)
  2. to go beyond or overstep (a limit)
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Derived Formstransgressor, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Latin transgredī, from trans- + gradī to step
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 transgress


late 15c., from Middle French transgresser (14c.), from Latin transgressus, past participle of transgredi "to step across" (see transgression). Related: Transgressed; transgressing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper