trans·​gres·​sion | \tran(t)s-ˈgre-shən, tranz-\

Definition of transgression 

: an act, process, or instance of transgressing: such as

a : infringement or violation of a law, command, or duty

b : the spread of the sea over land areas and the consequent unconformable deposit of sediments on older rocks

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Examples of transgression in a Sentence

acts that are transgressions against the laws of civilized societies everywhere a dying woman asking for divine forgiveness for a lifetime of transgressions

Recent Examples on the Web

After the refiner’s fire of a midterm defeat burns through the GOP, Trump would be freer to run without so many conservative sticklers grousing about ideological transgressions or behavioral excesses. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "No, free market conservatives are not becoming Dems," 31 July 2018 From its opening track, the album presents love as an unassailable pursuit, a salve for any transgression imaginable. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Do Beyoncé Fans Have to Forgive Jay-Z?," 18 June 2018 The latest transgression by the transgressor in chief just doesn’t seem to move the needle. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump's big gambit has paid off — at least for him.," 2 May 2018 Its power of transgression therefore usually remains in the realm of the symbolic. Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "Lady Gaga pegged her powerful Women in Hollywood speech to her suit. She didn’t need to.," 17 Oct. 2018 Certainly denials are relevant because political leaders don’t want the public to digest and process their transgressions. Chad Pergram, Fox News, "Who wrote the op-ed? Will the government shut down? Denials pile up in Washington," 10 Sep. 2018 The biggest risk is reputational; only egregious transgressions are likely to lead to penalties. The Economist, "Hedge funds worry about the legal risks of using “alternative” data," 21 June 2018 The university had been made aware of Tyndall's transgressions multiple times over the years but took no action. NBC News, "USC president C.L. Max Nikias to quit amid sex abuse scandal," 26 May 2018 If Clinton didn’t pay for his transgressions — and continues to resist owning up to them — others around him sure did. Neil Swidey,, "How Democrats would be better off if Bill Clinton had never been president," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'transgression.' 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 transgression

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for transgression

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

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More Definitions for transgression


trans·​gres·​sion | \trans-ˈgre-shən \

Kids Definition of transgression

: a violation of a command or law

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