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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web But talented people are always going to want to transcend self-expression and try to write the best song, the most stunning poem, the painting that gets everyone talking. Washington Post, "Maradona was great, and maybe the greatest. Can we make similar claims about artists?," 25 Dec. 2020 What Chris covered was not redemption, but a story little told in American history, updated with a determination to remember the past—and transcend it. National Geographic, "A century after massacre, descendants make a point of voting," 6 Nov. 2020 Simone Leigh is renowned for creating artworks that transcend race and gender to celebrate Black women and give them a voice. Fox News, "Sculptor will be 1st Black woman to represent US at Biennale," 14 Oct. 2020 And yet, in their encyclopedic ambition, Patwardhan’s films frequently transcend their political purpose and now seem like alternative histories of their time. New York Times, "India’s Leading Documentary Filmmaker Has a Warning," 1 Dec. 2020 Both parties are realizing these matters transcend Brexit. Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, "Britain Already Is Beyond Brexit," 17 Dec. 2020 El Paso is now struggling to summon the solidarity to transcend indifference and fatigue as scores of people are dying each day in a persisting pandemic. Washington Post, "El Paso was still grieving when the coronavirus arrived. Now, death has overwhelmed it.," 26 Nov. 2020 Frum is confident the spirit of Christmas – even an unconventional Christmas – will transcend the clutches of a public health crisis. Susan Miller, USA TODAY, "Christmas during COVID: USPS launches Operation Santa with new digital letter adoption," 16 Nov. 2020 Show the people of our state that lives transcend the political divide. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: Minneapolis police, protests, COVID restrictions, the presidential election," 11 Nov. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about transcend

Time Traveler for transcend

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for transcend

Last Updated

22 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Transcend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/transcend. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for transcend

transcend

verb
How to pronounce transcend (audio)

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on transcend

What made you want to look up transcend? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!