Definition of transgressive in US English:



  • 1Involving a violation of accepted or imposed boundaries, especially those of social acceptability.

    ‘her experiences of transgressive love with both sexes’
    • ‘Not only does he appropriate the customary male garb of the early 1860s, but additionally appropriates the gendered-male, socially transgressive act of gambling.’
    • ‘The flaw in Beatriz's plan, of course, is that in the economy of desire such transgressive behavior threatens societal order and may cast her in the role of madwoman.’
    • ‘In the cultural anxiety produced by genocide, mixed-race babies in particular are a sign of transgressive potential for love and adaptation between the races, and must be neutralised.’
    • ‘Gradually, the pagan and sexual passions the moon inspires demonstrate that these inhibitive prisons cannot prevent the transgressive mingling of sacred and profane love.’
    • ‘As a very private vice, it did not have the visibility or social implications of other transgressive sexual behaviours.’
    • ‘They were used in Europe only by ‘Orientals’ and some adventurous and transgressive literati, though they were also hidden in patent medicines and tonics.’
    • ‘Taking a poetry course with Heaney was a bit transgressive, given that my doctoral degree was going to be in history of science.’
    • ‘But where, if not received ideas of transgressive behaviour, does the power come from.’
    • ‘Arthur laments his transgressive behavior before the battle with his son.’
    • ‘In a society where arranged marriage is the norm, and deployed by families to maintain divisions of class and caste, romantic love is potentially highly transgressive.’
    • ‘Activism is perhaps no longer as universally linked to an image alternately dowdy and transgressive as it once was, maybe a generation ago, and this delinking is a positive development.’
    • ‘The fact that it speaks so eloquently, yet with such brutal honesty, about persecution and transgressive love must be attributed in large part to its director's own turbulent and troubled life.’
    • ‘Fifteen strange stories, from about 1560 to 1650, push at the limits of unusual and transgressive human cultural behaviour.’
    • ‘This aphorism relies for its force, of course, on the transgressive nature of the behaviour it alludes to.’
    • ‘In the past, transgressive behaviour, some of it sexual, was part of kinship rituals, the successful, and very expensive performance of which conferred great power on the participants.’
    • ‘Milton's God, of course, exercises the most transgressive and transformational freedom of cosmological liberty, which is simultaneously omnific and divorcive.’
    • ‘He is no puritan and has no interest in judging women, no matter how transgressive their behaviour.’
    1. 1.1 Relating to fiction, cinematography, or art in which orthodox cultural, moral, and artistic boundaries are challenged by the representation of unconventional behavior and the use of experimental forms.
      • ‘The exercise is transgressive for both genres and alchemic in nature.’
      • ‘I had seen his performances, and he represented what I would describe as bad choreography, in the sense that he was quite transgressive, an enfant terrible.’
      • ‘The nature of horror is cyclical, with each ‘newly transgressive incarnation of the genre’ replacing the last.’
      • ‘The transgressive plays of Molière's greatest period forced Louis XIV and Colbert finally to make censorship a systematic, bureaucratic institution.’
      • ‘But in looking at these methodically arranged and sedately framed photo works, it is easy to forget that he started out as an aficionado of truly transgressive imagery.’
      • ‘The figures on these coins show no regularity of form as one might expect on currency, but rather the boundless energy and inventiveness of a transgressive decomposition of form.’
      • ‘One shack houses a collection of books by and about the transgressive French writer.’
      • ‘He sought to materialize this transgressive imaginative sensibility in both his fiction and non-fiction.’
      • ‘I wanted to infuse more transgressive content into the decoration, to give it a jolt, so I began to look at pornography historically and cross-culturally.’
      • ‘In doing so, Manet inaugurated the transgressive period.’
      • ‘In fact, his work of this period is both more difficult and more transgressive than his fortunes in the history of art have acknowledged.’
      • ‘I guess sometimes transgressive art gets too transgressive even for artists.’
      • ‘There is an omnipresent vulnerability and sweetness about your portraits that belies the transgressive nature of what's presented.’
    2. 1.2Geology (of a stratum) overlapping others unconformably, especially as a result of marine transgression.
      • ‘The bulk of sediment accumulated during this main regressive phase is made up of the deposits of braided fluvial systems that prograded over the early transgressive coastal facies.’
      • ‘The remaining part of the Cambrian sequence represents a complete marine transgressive cycle, which follows terrestrial deposition of the basal sequence.’
      • ‘This interpretation is supported by the arrangement of intervening strata into transgressive and regressive cycles.’
      • ‘The present study was conducted entirely in U2 plutonic rocks, which, in the Bonifacio area, are locally covered by Miocene transgressive marine sediments.’
      • ‘Each of these units shows an amalgamated upper-shoreface sandstone section over 20 m thick, sharply overlain by transgressive sheltal shales about 50 m thick.’