trans·​gres·​sion | \ tran(t)s-ˈgre-shən How to pronounce transgression (audio) , 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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Pending legal changes would authorize the Office of Special Counsel to enforce the Hatch Act when the president fails to do so, by fining violators up to $50,000 a transgression. New York Times, "Beyond Impeachment, a Push for Ethics Laws That Do Not Depend on Shame," 11 Jan. 2021 Commissioner Roger Goodell reinstated Gordon after nearly a one-year suspension following his latest off-field transgression for violations of the league’s substance-abuse policies. Chronicle News Services,, "NFL reinstates Josh Gordon, can play in final 2 games for Seattle," 3 Dec. 2020 But much of the appeal of TikTok resides in its patina of transgression. Elizabeth C. Tippett, The Conversation, "How TikTok is upending workplace social media policies – and giving us rebel nurses and dancing cops," 3 Dec. 2020 Recent stories look more like bildungsromans; the transgression of roles is where the drama, not the comedy, comes through. Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, "What if You Could Outsource Your To-Do List?," 30 Nov. 2020 And the ease of going public online has encouraged rash — and sometimes unfounded — judgments against individuals and businesses, without gradations of punishment suited to the severity of the transgression. Washington Post, "Miss Manners: Shunning, shaming and ‘cancel culture’," 23 Nov. 2020 Villafaña’s goal was canceled out by a stoppage time equalizer from Dallas, the latest transgression in the Timbers’ year-long trend of conceding late goals. oregonlive, "Portland Timbers exit playoffs, fall to FC Dallas in dramatic 8-round penalty kick shootout," 22 Nov. 2020 Most of Intel’s current partners – including HP and Lenovo – are guilty of the same transgression. Mike Feibus, USA TODAY, "Apple and Intel divorce: What's the best part? Great laptops for the holidays," 15 Nov. 2020 This is an era of outrage, in and out of sports, in which every transgression seems to mean eternal condemnation, or at least stern scolding and moralizing. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, "A Friday Full of M.L.B. News and Mercy," 6 Nov. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of transgression

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about transgression

Time Traveler for transgression

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for transgression

Last Updated

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Transgression.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for transgression


trans·​gres·​sion | \ trans-ˈgre-shən How to pronounce transgression (audio) \

Kids Definition of transgression

: a violation of a command or law

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on transgression

What made you want to look up transgression? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!