transcend

verb
tran·​scend | \ tran(t)-ˈsend \
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

Seventy years of Western history since World War II show that with the right economic policies, a mix of rising purchasing power and international economic integration can transcend the imperialist dynamics of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Imperialism Will Be Dangerous for China," 17 Sep. 2018 There’s a physicality and vocal aura that Brandon Lee imbued the character with that seems to transcend film and take on an almost supernatural quality. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "Why 'The Crow' Should Not Fly Again," 31 May 2018 But families also have deep bonds that transcend their divisions, and that’s been apparent even in this trying season, which could end Sunday with a first-round playoff exit at the hands of the Golden State Warriors. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "In tough times, family bonds connect city to Spurs," 21 Apr. 2018 So Hunter kept making his pitch for Arrieta to join him in Philly, fully aware that such a major decision would transcend their friendship and require an enormous commitment from the Phillies’ ownership. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, "With Jake Arrieta on board, Phillies believe they're ready to contend," 12 Mar. 2018 As is Basquiat’s work, with power and punch to transcend the decades and make one mourn his death once more. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "From Renaissance Masters to ’80s Enfants Terribles, Hamish Bowles Presents His European Art Agenda," 19 Jan. 2018 But there’s a parallel, at least, with how Microsoft adopted Linux within Windows: Movies Anywhere is the first service that transcends (almost) all of the Hollywood studios and content platforms. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's decision to rejoin Movies Anywhere is a single step toward regaining consumer trust," 7 Aug. 2018 Few quotes transcend from reality TV into actual news and conversation quite like this one did. Danny Murphy, Marie Claire, "9 Dramatic 'Vanderpump Rules' Moments Nobody Can Ever Forget," 3 Dec. 2018 Leaders assume responsibility for pivotal decisions, transcend personal vendettas, try all paths to compromise. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "How to Find a Good Leader," 1 Nov. 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.

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

Statistics for transcend

Last Updated

15 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for transcend

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \
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

irregularly rounded

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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!