Share this entry

Share this page

transcendental

Syllabification: tran·scen·den·tal
Pronunciation: /ˌtranˌsenˈden(t)l
 
/

Definition of transcendental in English:

adjective

1Of or relating to a spiritual or nonphysical realm: the transcendental importance of each person’s soul
More example sentences
  • The spiritual in man may soar in the highest transcendental realms, but man's body is essentially that of an animal.
  • Hindus readily accept as reality transcendental realms of Gods and devas and higher modes of consciousness than that in which we commonly live.
  • Isaac's prayer is symbolic of the transcendental spiritual beauty of Judaism.
1.1(In Kantian philosophy) presupposed in and necessary to experience; a priori.
Example sentences
  • Echoes of the subsequent post-Hegelian criticisms of Kantian transcendental philosophy are found in the early work of Horkheimer and Marcuse.
  • Husserl sees his own transcendental phenomenology as the true heir to Kant's transcendental philosophy.
  • Eze evidently thinks it very important to emphasize that Kant appealed to his transcendental philosophy and his theory of the a priori to formulate his racial theory.
1.2Relating to or denoting Transcendentalism.
Example sentences
  • Kant's assertion that transcendental idealism entails empirical realism is difficult to interpret.
  • On the other hand, transcendental empiricism has epistemological implications insofar as knowledge too must be formed in a process of individuation.
  • How should we assess Husserl's transcendental phenomenology?
2 Mathematics (Of a number, e.g., e or π) real but not a root of an algebraic equation with rational roots.
Example sentences
  • Liouville had introduced such numbers as examples of transcendental numbers - real numbers that are not roots of polynomial equations with integer coefficients.
  • Mathematicians had regarded algebraic numbers as, in some sense, simpler than transcendental numbers.
  • The very names negative numbers, irrational numbers, transcendental numbers, imaginary numbers, and ideal points at infinity indicate ambivalence.
2.1(Of a function) not capable of being produced by the algebraical operations of addition, multiplication, and involution, or the inverse operations.
Example sentences
  • If fifth-degree polynomials are so hard, what can one do with transcendental functions of a complex variable?
  • It was decided to concentrate on a three-volume work on the Higher transcendental functions, to be followed by two volumes of tables of integrals.
  • I have just finished an extensive treatise on a certain class of transcendental functions to present it to the Institute which will be done next Monday.

Origin

early 17th century: from medieval Latin transcendentalis (see transcendent).

Derivatives

transcendentalize

1
verb
Example sentences
  • Why transcendentalize the arbitrary confections dreamt up by a particular animal's socio-biotic coding?
  • That immediately transcendentalizes them in two ways.
  • He is also opposed to any move to transcendentalize trauma, thereby neutralizing the moral differences between victims and perpetrators (since everyone is always already traumatized).

transcendentally

2
adverb
Example sentences
  • In short, what it was like to be transcendentally fatalist in a time when conventional, run-of-the-mill fatalism wasn't enough.
  • I remained almost transcendentally calm, Christ-like in my turning of the other cheek and Gandhi-like in my restraint from smacking him in the mouth.
  • How can your current beliefs be so transcendentally correct if you yourself recently believed something very different?

Definition of transcendental in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day resilient
Pronunciation: rəˈzilyənt
adjective
able to recoil or spring back into shape…