Definition of transcendent in English:


Line breaks: tran¦scend|ent
Pronunciation: /tranˈsɛnd(ə)nt
, trɑːn-/


  • 1Beyond or above the range of normal or physical human experience: the search for a transcendent level of knowledge
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    • Nor was he the only literary type to embrace Catholicism's indeflectability as the answer to modernity's assault on inherited tradition and the human longing for the transcendent.
    • By the end of the eighteenth century, liberal theology transformed traditional doctrines into statements that are metaphors for a general human relation to the transcendent.
    • It is thus the point of the soul itself, that which marks us as unique from other animals, and allows access to the transpersonal and transcendent realms above.
  • 1.1Surpassing the ordinary; exceptional: her transcendent beauty
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    • Artists in many fields collaborate, as painters did in the Renaissance, before there was any guff about the artist as transcendent, solitary genius.
    • When viewed through a magnifying glass it astonishes you not only with its similarity with Torenia's flower sans the purple or violet luxury but also with its transcendent beauty.
    • There are too many people participating for it not to eventually produce works of staggering intellect, transcendent beauty and infectious humor.
    superior, supreme, consummate, predominant, pre-eminent, ascendant, paramount, superlative, unique, unsurpassed, incomparable, unrivalled, unequalled, unparalleled, matchless, peerless, second to none; excellent, excelling, great, magnificent
  • 1.2(Of God) existing apart from and not subject to the limitations of the material universe. Often contrasted with immanent.
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    • This, he states, is strong evidence in support of religion and of a personal, transcendent God.
    • God is transcendent; the belief deduced from this is that nature was mere scenery in the divine order of things.
    • This conception of Wisdom parallels a less significant, general Jewish explanation of how a transcendent God could participate in a temporal creation.
    supernatural, preternatural, transcendental, other-worldly, superhuman, mystical, mystic, spiritual, divine, heavenly, exalted, sublime, ethereal, numinous, transmundane, ineffable
  • 2(In scholastic philosophy) higher than or not included in any of Aristotle’s ten categories.
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    • Western concepts of God have ranged from the detached transcendent demiurge of Aristotle to the pantheism of Spinoza.
    • In this shift, signs float ever more free of the reality (including transcendent reality) to which they point.
    • However, he does make a good case that the demand for some more transcendent basis for ethics is misplaced.
  • 2.1(In Kantian philosophy) not realizable in experience.
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    • Metaphysical entities are by nature and definition utterly transcendent of the physical.
    • For Kant the issue was a boundary between-between consciousness and matter, subject and object, empirical and transcendent.
    • You're kind of right, because the kind of postmodernism you describe - ‘the philosophy that claims there is no transcendent truth’ - was never really alive.



More example sentences
  • Such moments are melancholy as well as joyful precisely because they are fleeting: transcendently beautiful but so brief as to be immeasurable.
  • But if the issue is war, in which many thousands of people undoubtedly will die, the cause had better be transcendently important.
  • Sung a cappella, the song is transcendently impassioned and beautiful.


late Middle English: from Latin transcendent- 'climbing over', from the verb transcendere (see transcend).

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