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

Since then, the show has recognized coaches whose dedication to the job seemed to transcend wins and losses. Alex Putterman, courant.com, "UConn icon, St. Joseph basketball coach Jim Calhoun to be honored at ESPYS as ‘Best Coach’," 17 June 2019 Among those who made it to the summit were people without limbs or with multiple sclerosis who wanted to transcend the limitations of the body. Ipsita Chakravarty, Quartz India, "How colonialism cost the Himalayas their remoteness," 10 June 2019 Coleman’s iteration is more tactful, but the idea is similar: Students who demonstrate their intellectual ability, in this case by performing well on a flawed test, deserve to transcend their rough circumstances through education. Annie Abrams, The New Republic, "The College Board Hopes to Profit from “Adversity”," 6 June 2019 Énard’s novel Compass is perhaps the most ambitious effort in contemporary fiction to transcend the oppressive heritage of Orientalism, via, paradoxically, the Orientalist tradition itself. Adam Shatz, The New York Review of Books, "‘Orientalism,’ Then and Now," 20 May 2019 These two men radically transformed their respective fields, leaving behind legacies that all of their followers were forced to acknowledge while attempting to transcend. National Geographic, "How Beethoven went from Napoleon’s biggest fan to his worst critic," 24 Apr. 2019 Does this suggest an anarchic youthful urge to transcend oppressive barriers or to reinforce them? Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Are Hate-Crime Laws Helping?," 22 Feb. 2019 There are values that transcend partisan politics and unite people over squabbles about issues of social life and morality. Julia Azari, Vox, "Collins’ speech shows that the guardrails were the problem all along," 6 Oct. 2018 But the core of the problem includes partisan politics and yet transcends partisan politics. Will Bunch, Philly.com, "Some of the pictures of border kids that haunt me most are from 2014. Here's why | Will Bunch," 24 June 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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Statistics for transcend

Last Updated

21 Jun 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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