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From Middle English transcenden, from Old French transcender, from Latin transcendere (to climb over, step over, surpass, transcend), from trans (over) + scandere (to climb); see scan; compare ascend, descend.


  • IPA(key): /tɹæn(t)ˈsɛnd/
  • (file)


transcend (third-person singular simple present transcends, present participle transcending, simple past and past participle transcended)

  1. (transitive) to pass beyond the limits of something.
    • 1623, Francis Bacon, A Discourse of a War with Spain
      such personal popes, emperors, or elective kings, as shall transcend their limits
  2. (transitive) to surpass, as in intensity or power; to excel.
    • c. 1698, John Dryden, Epitaph on the Monument of a Fair Maiden Lady (
      How much her worth transcended all her kind.
  3. (obsolete) To climb; to mount.
    lights in the heavens transcending the region of the clouds


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