transcend

verb
tran·​scend | \ tran(t)-ˈsend How to pronounce transcend (audio) \
transcended; transcending; transcends

Definition of transcend

transitive verb

1a : 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)
2 : to outstrip or outdo in some attribute, quality, or power

intransitive verb

: to rise above or extend notably beyond ordinary limits

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

When Should You Use transcend?

Great leaders are expected to transcend the limitations of politics, especially during wartime and national crises. A great writer may transcend geographical boundaries to become internationally respected. And certain laws of human nature seem to transcend historical periods and hold true for all times and all places.

Examples of transcend in a Sentence

music that transcends cultural boundaries She was able to transcend her own suffering and help others. Her concerns transcended local issues.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The question for Murray is if his exceptional arm and playmaking abilities transcend his stature. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Baseball Wants Kyler Murray. But He Wants Football.," 15 Jan. 2019 Some trends transcend time, while others are more fleeting. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Beyoncé's Makeup Artist Says These Will Be the Coolest Makeup Trends of 2019," 23 Jan. 2019 From former presidents to professional athletes, those honoring the late Sen. John McCain this week transcend political parties and professions. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "McCain's funeral will be attended by Obama, Bush and others: A list of notable people paying their respects," 30 Aug. 2018 In this case, the world’s widest ocean was no match for America’s love and compassion for 12 boys trapped in a cave — so why can’t that same love transcend something as transient and as artificial as a simple border fence? Will Bunch, Philly.com, "The world shows its love to kids in a Thai cave. We need that same love for kids at the border | Will Bunch," 8 July 2018 Partly that’s due to the straightforward virtuosity of his playing, and partly to his compulsion to transcend and blend styles. New York Times, "13 Pop, Rock and Jazz Concerts to Check Out in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 31 May 2018 Their melody and lyrics transcend regional borders, language, culture, and institutions. Mitchell Peters, Billboard, "South Korean President Moon Jae-in Congratulates BTS on First No. 1 Album," 28 May 2018 But, like those femme-presenting performers, the city’s drag kings transcend the limits of gender. Kt Hawbaker, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago's drag kings are out to destroy 'toxic masculinity,' one sequin and pelvic thrust at a time," 4 Apr. 2018 The exhibition's strong moments transcend the installation technique. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, "MOCA's "Poethical Wager" makes a tough bet with strong art, complicated installation (photos)," 13 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'transcend.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of transcend

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for transcend

Middle English, from Latin transcendere to climb across, transcend, from trans- + scandere to climb — more at scan

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Learn More about transcend

Statistics for transcend

Last Updated

12 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for transcend

The first known use of transcend was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for transcend

transcend

verb

English Language Learners Definition of transcend

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

transcend

verb
tran·​scend | \ tran-ˈsend How to pronounce transcend (audio) \
transcended; transcending

Kids Definition of transcend

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

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Comments on transcend

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