[trans-gresh-uh n, tranz-]


an act of transgressing; violation of a law, command, etc.; sin.

Origin of transgression

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin trānsgressiōn- (stem of trānsgressiō) a stepping across. See transgress, -ion
Related formsnon·trans·gres·sion, noun

Synonym study

See breach. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for transgression

Contemporary Examples of transgression

Historical Examples of transgression

  • Unbelief was also a probable concomitant in this transgression.

  • Your transgression will be forgiven you since you have confessed and testify your horror for it.

  • I will show them wherein they have erred, and that transgression stands in the way to life.


    James Anthony Froude

  • His transgression had destroyed his faith, and then dogma had tottered.

  • Marianne, recognizing how serious was the transgression, wished to scold him.


    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for transgression



a breach of a law, etc; sin or crime
the act or an instance of transgressing
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 transgression

late 14c., from Old French transgression (12c.), from Late Latin transgressionem (nominative transgressio) "a transgression of the law," in classical Latin, "a going over," from transgressus, past participle of transgredi "go beyond," from trans- "across" (see trans-) + gradi (past participle gressus) "to walk, go" (see grade).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

transgression in Science



A relative rise in sea level resulting in deposition of marine strata over terrestrial strata. The sequence of sedimentary strata formed by transgressions and regressions provides information about the changes in sea level during a particular geologic time. Compare regression.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.