[trans-gres, tranz-]
See more synonyms for transgress on
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.

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

Synonyms for transgress

See more synonyms for on

Antonyms for transgress

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

Examples from the Web for transgressor

Contemporary Examples of transgressor

Historical Examples of transgressor

  • It was a good thing that from any cause the transgressor should find his ways hard.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Now and then the way of the transgressor is disgustingly pleasant.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • It looks, too, as if 'the way of the transgressor' were a darned hard way.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • "The way of the transgressor is hard," he whispered in a tone too low for Hodden to hear.

  • "'The way of the transgressor is hard,'" murmured the minister to himself.

    Victor's Triumph

    Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

British Dictionary definitions for transgressor


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

Word Origin for transgress

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 transgressor

early 15c., from Anglo-French transgressour, Old French transgressor, and directly from Latin transgressor, agent noun from transgredi (see transgression).



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper