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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.
Origin of transgress
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for transgressor
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "The way of the transgressor is hard," answered Cissy, with the harshness of woman to woman.

    Pretty Geraldine, the New York Salesgirl Mrs. Alex. McVeigh Miller
  • It must be impartial, and be inflicted therefore on every transgressor.

  • Deacon Blight thought that the transgressor should be suspended from office pending a fuller investigation.

    The Preacher of Cedar Mountain Ernest Thompson Seton
  • The way of the foolish is sometimes as hard as that of the transgressor.

    Forest Neighbors William Davenport Hulbert
  • It is possible that a penalty of three days in a dark cell awaits the transgressor.

  • It was a good thing that from any cause the transgressor should find his ways hard.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • If I'm not mistaken, it seems to me that somewhere, sometime, some one said that 'The way of the transgressor is hard.'

    Winning His "W" Everett Titsworth Tomlinson
  • Now and then the way of the transgressor is disgustingly pleasant.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • A breach of this convention would banish the transgressor from respectable company.

    The Immortal Alphonse Daudet
British Dictionary definitions for transgressor


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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Word Origin and History for transgressor

early 15c., from Anglo-French transgressour, Old French transgressor, and directly from Latin transgressor, agent noun from transgredi (see transgression).



late 15c., from Middle French transgresser (14c.), from Latin transgressus, past participle of transgredi "to step across" (see transgression). Related: Transgressed; transgressing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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