from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To go beyond or over (a limit or boundary); exceed or overstep: "to make sure that her characters didn't transgress the parameters of ordinariness” ( Ron Rosenbaum).
  • transitive v. To act in violation of (the law, for example).
  • intransitive v. To commit an offense by violating a law or command; sin.
  • intransitive v. To spread over land, especially over the land along a subsiding shoreline. Used of the sea.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To exceed or overstep some limit or boundary.
  • v. To act in violation of some law.
  • v. To commit an offense; to sin.
  • v. To spread over land along a shoreline; to inundate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To offend against the law; to sin.
  • transitive v. To pass over or beyond; to surpass.
  • transitive v. Hence, to overpass, as any prescribed as the �imit of duty; to break or violate, as a law, civil or moral.
  • transitive v. To offend against; to vex.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To pass over or beyond; go beyond.
  • Hence To overpass, as some law or rule prescribed; break or violate; infringe.
  • To offend against (a person); disobey; thwart; cross; vex.
  • Synonyms Infringe upon, Encroach upon, etc. (see trespass, v. i.), pass, transcend, overstep, contravene.
  • To offend by violating a law; sin.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. pass beyond (limits or boundaries)
  • v. act in disregard of laws, rules, contracts, or promises
  • v. commit a sin; violate a law of God or a moral law
  • v. spread over land, especially along a subsiding shoreline


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English transgressen, from Old French transgresser, from Latin trānsgredī, trānsgress-, to step across : trāns-, trans- + gradī, to go; see ghredh- in Indo-European roots.


  • No physical image of a man stepping over a boundary is presented to our minds by the word transgress, nor in using the word comprehension do we picture to ourselves any manual act of grasping.

    The Unseen World, and Other Essays

  • Rather, it had to do with taking responsibility for where he did transgress, which is having an inappropriate relationship with an informant.

    SFGate: Top News Stories

  • Ruth Anne: You are one of my faves, as you know, but honestly, when it comes to sex and women, it truly does seem that your compassion capacity for women who, I guess the word is "transgress" for want of a better, in a particular way is oddly low.

    The sleazy sexism that's served up...

  • Goebel: not simply mediated views of the world, but also fantasies and imaginative extrapolations that 'transgress' given reality can be constructed and communicated.

    Ethics in Games: Cfp

  • Y: "And to you there came Joseph in times gone by, with Clear Signs, but ye ceased not to doubt of the (Mission) for which he had come: At length, when he died, ye said: 'No messenger will Allah send after him.' thus doth Allah leave to stray such as transgress and live in doubt," -

    Three Translations of The Koran (Al-Qur'an) side by side

  • May my life be laid down for the transgressions of such as transgress against Thee, for through them the breath of Thy grace and the fragrance of Thy loving-kindness are made known and diffused amongst men.

    Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh

  • So that it may, I confess, give temporal impunity to such as transgress upon this account, but for all that, it can never by so doing warrant the transgression itself; it may indeed indemnify the person, but cannot take away the guilt, which, resulting from the very nature of the action, is inseparable from it.

    Sermons Preached Upon Several Occasions. Vol. IV.

  • The books were not only at the barricades, they were the barricades, behind which the students could both take shelter and push forward; could "transgress" across the police lines while the truncheons fell on the books, not the demonstrators.

    The Guardian World News

  • Modernity is supposed to "transgress" standards of the traditional, which is why Paul Hindemith, while rehearsing one of his dissonant orchestral compositions, said to the musicians, "No, no gentlemen-even though it sounds wrong, it's still not right."

    The Freedom Fighter's Journal

  • The big question everyone is asking, though, is why would someone like Tiger, whose ego certainly needs no boost, and who has a beautiful wife and lovely children, feels the need to, as he puts it, "transgress". news, business, sport, the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Sunday Telegraph


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