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

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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

On Wednesday, the embattled administrator appeared on Capitol Hill to defend himself against criticisms of his alleged ethical transgressions. Sophie Tatum, CNN, "Arnold Schwarzenegger tweets to Pruitt about water contamination," 17 May 2018 This kind of infraction is far more innocent than the transgressions of Willie Taggart's staff prior to the former Ducks boss coaching his first game at Oregon last season. John Canzano,, "Canzano: Oregon State to report secondary NCAA violation, but what comes next counts more," 10 May 2018 Under the influence of testosterone and the spell of transgression, ROGD daughters grow churlish and aggressive. Abigail Shrier, WSJ, "When Your Daughter Defies Biology," 6 Jan. 2019 The 54-year-old’s alleged transgressions were caught on surveillance footage and he was arrested on the spot, TMZ reported. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Former NBA star Charles Oakley allegedly cheated at Texas hold'em game leading to his arrest: report," 3 Aug. 2018 Out-of-state living arrangements, questionable uses of tax dollars, drunken-driving convictions, voting histories and ethical transgressions -- all dredged up in news stories -- have provided grist for the attacks. Joseph Weber, Fox News, "Republicans vie to challenge vulnerable Manchin, Donnelly in looming primary battles," 30 Apr. 2018 Though the president is indeed on a firing spree, ethical transgressions like Lighthizer’s seem only to improve one’s standing with the boss. Bess Levin, The Hive, "Trump Official Blames Obama for His $1 Million Office Redesign," 18 Apr. 2018 The Board of Ethics and Government Accountability, which has the power to investigate council members for ethical transgressions, declined to comment on the events or say whether the agency would investigate. Fenit Nirappil, Washington Post, "D.C. Council member proposed bill that would have helped firm that offered his son an internship," 14 Feb. 2018 By targeting a house of worship, rather than a private home or business, the attacker has committed a powerful symbolic transgression: profaning a space that is both sacred and communal. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "An assailant killed at least 11 at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.," 27 Oct. 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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Statistics for transgression

Last Updated

10 May 2019

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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 How to pronounce transgression (audio) \

Kids Definition of transgression

: a violation of a command or law

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Comments on transgression

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using a distributed computer network

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