verb tran·scend \tran(t)-ˈsend\

: to rise above or go beyond the normal limits of (something)

Full Definition of TRANSCEND

transitive verb
a :  to rise above or go beyond the limits of
b :  to triumph over the negative or restrictive aspects of :  overcome
c :  to be prior to, beyond, and above (the universe or material existence)
:  to outstrip or outdo in some attribute, quality, or power
intransitive verb
:  to rise above or extend notably beyond ordinary limits

Examples of TRANSCEND

  1. music that transcends cultural boundaries
  2. She was able to transcend her own suffering and help others.
  3. Her concerns transcended local issues.


Middle English, from Latin transcendere to climb across, transcend, from trans- + scandere to climb — more at scan
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of TRANSCEND

exceed, surpass, transcend, excel, outdo, outstrip mean to go or be beyond a stated or implied limit, measure, or degree. exceed implies going beyond a limit set by authority or established by custom or by prior achievement <exceed the speed limit>. surpass suggests superiority in quality, merit, or skill <the book surpassed our expectations>. transcend implies a rising or extending notably above or beyond ordinary limits <transcended the values of their culture>. excel implies preeminence in achievement or quality and may suggest superiority to all others <excels in mathematics>. outdo applies to a bettering or exceeding what has been done before <outdid herself this time>. outstrip suggests surpassing in a race or competition <outstripped other firms in sales>.
TRANSCENDING Defined for Kids


verb tran·scend \tran-ˈsend\

Definition of TRANSCEND for Kids

:  to rise above the limits of <The music transcends cultural boundaries.>
:  to do better or more than <The poem transcended all others in its beauty.>

Word Root of TRANSCEND

The Latin word scandere, meaning to climb, gives us the root scend. Words from the Latin scandere have something to do with climbing. To ascend is to climb upward. To descend is to climb downward. To transcend is to rise above or climb over something's limits.


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