transcend

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /tɹæn(t)ˈsɛnd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛnd

Verb[edit]

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.
    • a. 1627 (date written), Francis [Bacon], “Considerations Touching a VVarre vvith Spaine. []”, in William Rawley, editor, Certaine Miscellany VVorks of the Right Honourable Francis Lo. Verulam, Viscount S. Alban. [], London: [] I. Hauiland for Humphrey Robinson, [], published 1629, OCLC 557721855:
      such personal popes, emperors, or elective kings, as shall transcend their limits
    • 2008, BioWare, Mass Effect (Science Fiction), Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →ISBN, OCLC 246633669, PC, scene: Virmire:
      Shepard: What do you want from us? Slaves? Resources?
      My kind transcends your very understanding. We are each a nation. Independent, free of all weakness. You cannot grasp the nature of our existence.
  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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