trans·gress (trăns-grĕs, trănz-)
v. trans·gressed, trans·gress·ing, trans·gress·es
1. 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).
2. To act in violation of (the law, for example).
1. To commit an offense by violating a law, principle, or duty.
2. To spread over land, especially over the land along a subsiding shoreline. Used of the sea.
[Middle English transgressen, from Old French transgresser, from Latin trānsgredī, trānsgress-, to step across : trāns-, trans- + gradī, to go; see ghredh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.