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 Perhaps Katyal could figure out the way to write something that transcended the twists and turns of a constantly churning story. Ben Terris, Washington Post, "A brief trip inside the life of an atypical impeachment opportunist," 3 Dec. 2019 Right from the founding of the modern nation in 1957, early Ghanaian leaders led by the first president Kwame Nkrumah preached Pan-Africanism, one that transcended the shores of continental Africa. Kwasi Gyamfi Asiedu, Quartz Africa, "Ghana granted citizenship to over 100 African Americans and Afro-Caribbeans as part of Year of Return," 28 Nov. 2019 Beyond time or type, this is an item that has transcended conventions. Ephrat Livni, Quartzy, "The woke shopper’s one-item Zen gift guide," 23 Nov. 2019 But good relations with the U.S. are a long-term priority for Israel that transcends the political calculations of both Trump and Netanyahu. Jonathan S. Tobin, National Review, "Banning Omar and Tlaib May Help Trump, but It Hurts Israel," 16 Aug. 2019 This is the quintessential jean style that transcends decades and fads. Tyler Joe, Marie Claire, "How to Style Straight Leg Jeans," 12 Aug. 2019 Said White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, ″Field of Dreams is an iconic, generational baseball story built upon a deep love of the game that transcends even the most impossible of circumstances. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Yankees and White Sox to play 2020 game on the Field of Dreams," 8 Aug. 2019 He's managed to write a play that transcends its high concept to show two people figuring out how to be together well. Manuel Mendoza, Dallas News, "In 'Lungs,' a couple debate whether it's right to bring a child into our warming world," 23 July 2019 Stephens, like other observers, frames Honnold’s ascent of El Capitan as something that transcends particulars, ranking with the universal and all-time great accomplishments. Hannah Rosefield, The New Yorker, "Do Good Climbers Make Good Capitalists?," 22 July 2019

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

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Transcend.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/transcend. Accessed 11 December 2019.

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

heavy with or as if with moisture

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!