v. tran·scend·ed, tran·scend·ing, tran·scends
1. To pass beyond the limits of (a category or conception, for instance): "our desire to ... find love, recognition and acceptance that transcends stereotype, class, age, poverty and physical imperfection" (Catherine Orenstein).
2. To be greater than, as in quality or intensity; surpass: a new film that transcends all her previous efforts.
3. To exist above and independent of (material experience or the universe): "One never can see the thing in itself, because the mind does not transcend phenomena" (Hilaire Belloc).
To be transcendent; excel.
[Middle English transcenden, from Old French transcendre, from Latin trānscendere : trāns-, trans- + scandere, to climb; see skand- 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.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.