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[trans-gres, tranz-] /trænsˈgrɛs, trænz-/
verb (used without object)
to violate a law, command, moral code, etc.; offend; sin.
verb (used with object)
to pass over or go beyond (a limit, boundary, etc.):
to transgress bounds of prudence.
to go beyond the limits imposed by (a law, command, etc.); violate; infringe:
to transgress the will of God.
1520-30; < Latin trānsgressus (past participle of trānsgredī to step across), equivalent to trāns- trans- + -gred- (combining form of gradī to step; see grade) + -tus past participle suffix, with dt > ss
Related forms
transgressive, adjective
transgressively, adverb
transgressor, noun
nontransgressive, adjective
nontransgressively, adverb
untransgressed, adjective
1. err, trespass. 3. contravene, disobey.
3. obey. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for transgressive
  • Links literary and artistic depictions of peasants' clothing and transgressive behavior to elite anxieties.
  • The satire mag is gearing up for a new decade of transgressive skewering, this time as an animated sketch-comedy series.
  • He has always been interested in a mix of the traditional and the transgressive.
  • We might as well start treading on that transgressive turf.
  • But the film feels too formulaic and too familiar to produce the transgressive thrills of early underground work.
  • With a transgressive sense of humor, the artists in this joint exhibition invite us to peek into closets of various kinds.
  • In a different environment, this would qualify as transgressive brilliance.
  • It had cream, five eggs, sugar and a transgressive dose of salt.
  • Art by its nature is a transgressive act, and artists must accept being punished for it.
  • As it turned out, this actor-writer-director wanted some ice cream, another transgressive reward at the end of a big day.
British Dictionary definitions for transgressive


going beyond acceptable boundaries of taste, convention, or the law transgressive art, transgressive pursuits
Derived Forms
transgressively, adverb


to break (a law, rule, etc)
to go beyond or overstep (a limit)
Derived Forms
transgressor, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin transgredī, from trans- + gradī to step
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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