transgress

verb

trans·​gress tran(t)s-ˈgres How to pronounce transgress (audio)
tranz-
transgressed; transgressing; transgresses

intransitive verb

1
: to violate a command or law : sin
2
: to go beyond a boundary or limit

transitive verb

1
: to go beyond limits set or prescribed by : violate
transgress divine law
2
: to pass beyond or go over (a limit or boundary)
transgressive adjective
transgressor noun

Examples of transgress in a Sentence

He who transgresses must seek forgiveness. There are legal consequences for companies that transgress the rules.
Recent Examples on the Web There is, of course, power to be gained by a beautiful woman who is willing to transgress the boundaries of bodily modesty. Kayla Bartsch, National Review, 10 Jan. 2024 As his longtime friend C. S. Lewis warned, human efforts to transgress nature end up amounting to the coercion of other men. Jack Butler, National Review, 31 Dec. 2023 McCall, like his fellow magazine humorist Sam Gross, wasn’t the type to apologize for potentially transgressing in the name of comedy. Michael Cavna, Washington Post, 9 May 2023 Indeed, the history of human civilization might be characterized as a history of transgressing natural limits and thriving. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 17 Dec. 2023 The problem is that cutting-edge comedy becomes difficult if a joke that transgresses someone’s idea of good taste means that the comedian is banned for life. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 29 Oct. 2023 Its latest episode, however, transgressed from inane to insulting for its handling—mishandling—of Lisa Todd Wexley’s pregnancy. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, 18 Aug. 2023 By making Athena into an avatar of literary ruthlessness, Kuang transforms what could have been a character with foibles and compulsions into a universal, and thus somewhat boring, archetype: the writer who wrecks her relationships and transgresses every boundary for the sake of her work. Zoe Hu, Washington Post, 12 May 2023 The problem, in other words, is less about trans women transgressing conventional gender norms than about their picking the losing team. Carol Hay, Fortune, 17 July 2023 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Middle French transgresser, from Latin transgressus, past participle of transgredi to step beyond or across, from trans- + gradi to step — more at grade entry 1

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of transgress was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near transgress

Cite this Entry

“Transgress.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/transgress. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

transgress

verb
trans·​gress tran(t)s-ˈgres How to pronounce transgress (audio)
tranz-
1
: to go beyond limits set by : violate
transgress divine law
2
: to pass beyond or go over a limit or boundary
3
: to violate a command or law
transgressive adjective
transgressor noun
Etymology

from early French transgresser "to transgress," from Latin transgressus, past participle of transgredi "to step across or beyond," from trans- "across, beyond" and gradi "to step"

Legal Definition

transgress

transitive verb
trans·​gress tranz-ˈgres, trans- How to pronounce transgress (audio)
1
: to go beyond limits set or prescribed by : violate
2
: to pass beyond or go over (a limit or boundary)

intransitive verb

1
: to violate a law
2
: to go beyond a boundary or limit

More from Merriam-Webster on transgress

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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