tran·​scen·​den·​tal ˌtran(t)-ˌsen-ˈden-tᵊl How to pronounce transcendental (audio)
: incapable of being the root of an algebraic equation with rational coefficients
π is a transcendental number
: being, involving, or representing a function (such as sin x, log x, ex) that cannot be expressed by a finite number of algebraic operations
transcendental curves
in Kantian philosophy
: of or relating to experience as determined by the mind's makeup
: transcending experience but not human knowledge
transcendentally adverb

Examples of transcendental in a Sentence

the concept of the soul as a transcendental entity that exists entirely apart from the body in his speeches he manifests a transcendental ability to inspire people from all points on the political spectrum
Recent Examples on the Web Staff Pick: From unmarketable to ‘transcendental’ After agreeing to a record-breaking $700 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Shohei Ohtani has suddenly become the world's most famous baseball player. Elizabeth Robinson, NBC News, 14 Dec. 2023 An avid cyclist who practices transcendental meditation, Minicucci has a laser focus on details. Kiel Porter, Fortune, 5 Dec. 2023 Thanks to this emphasis, many of Res Ipsa’s garments enjoy one-of-one status, as well as a more transcendental quality. Eric Twardzik, Robb Report, 10 May 2023 The Masked Singer contestant has also credited Lois for his passion for transcendental meditation. Kaitlin Stevens, Peoplemag, 3 Oct. 2023 Each of a house’s windows seems to frame a different story, and a pool’s shimmering blue surface suggests depths both literal and transcendental. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 30 June 2023 Kip embraces Kira’s notion that metal is a tool for excavating truth, and his truth is the White Room, an urge for violence that is part fatal flaw, part transcendental calling. Jim Ruland, Los Angeles Times, 1 May 2023 Meditation is a broad term that includes many types of practice: There's mindfulness meditation, yoga nidra and transcendental meditation, to name a few. Delaney Nothaft, USA TODAY, 27 Apr. 2023 In creating its unique methodology, called Hemi-Sync, the Gateway project borrowed from various consciousness-altering methodologies including biofeedback, transcendental meditation, Kundalini yoga, and hypnosis. Susan Lahey, Popular Mechanics, 12 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'transcendental.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1624, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of transcendental was in 1624

Dictionary Entries Near transcendental

Cite this Entry

“Transcendental.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


tran·​scen·​den·​tal ˌtran(t)s-ˌen-ˈdent-ᵊl How to pronounce transcendental (audio)
transcendentally adverb

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