Definition of transcendent
1a : exceeding usual limits : surpassingb : extending or lying beyond the limits of ordinary experiencec in Kantian philosophy : being beyond the limits of all possible experience and knowledge
2 : being beyond comprehension
4 : universally applicable or significant the antislavery movement … recognized the transcendent importance of liberty — L. H. Tribe
Examples of transcendent in a sentence
a firm belief in angels, demons, and other transcendent beings
the star player's transcendent performance helped the team to a surprise victory
Did You Know?
The Latin verb scandere means "to climb", so transcend has the basic meaning of climbing so high that you cross some boundary. A transcendent experience is one that takes you out of yourself and convinces you of a larger life or existence; in this sense, it means something close to "spiritual". The American writers and thinkers known as the Transcendentalists, including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, believed in the unity of all creation, the basic goodness of humankind, and the superiority of spiritual vision over mere logic. When we speak of the transcendent importance of an issue such as climate change, we may mean that everything else on earth actually depends on it.
Origin and Etymology of transcendent
Middle English, from Latin transcendent-, transcendens, present participle of transcendere
First Known Use: 15th century
TRANSCENDENT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of transcendent for English Language Learners
: going beyond the limits of ordinary experience
: far better or greater than what is usual
Seen and Heard
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