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[tran-skrahyb] /trænˈskraɪb/
verb (used with object), transcribed, transcribing.
to make a written copy, especially a typewritten copy, of (dictated material, notes taken during a lecture, or other spoken material).
to make an exact copy of (a document, text, etc.).
to write out in another language or alphabet; translate or transliterate:
to transcribe Chinese into English characters.
Phonetics. to represent (speech sounds) in written phonetic or phonemic symbols.
Radio. to make a recording of (a program, announcement, etc.) for broadcasting.
Music. to arrange (a composition) for a medium other than that for which it was originally written.
Genetics. to effect genetic transcription of (a DNA molecule template).
Origin of transcribe
1545-55; < Latin trānscrībere to copy off, equivalent to trāns- trans- + scrībere to write. See scribe1
Related forms
transcriber, noun
mistranscribe, verb (used with object), mistranscribed, mistranscribing.
nontranscribing, adjective
pretranscribe, verb (used with object), pretranscribed, pretranscribing.
retranscribe, verb (used with object), retranscribed, retranscribing.
untranscribed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for transcribe
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It were indeed too long for our purpose to transcribe the half of what Mr. Badger has interestingly written on this topic.

    Memoir of Rev. Joseph Badger Elihu G. Holland
  • There is no need to transcribe the history of education here.

  • All which, as the reader knows it already, it would be tedious and unpardonable to transcribe from his mouth.

    Amelia Henry Fielding
  • I transcribe selections; the spelling, as before, being my own.

    They and I Jerome K. Jerome
  • Here there is no foreign text for the music to study or illustrate or transcribe.

    Musicians of To-Day Romain Rolland
  • When they returned to the office, Athalie began to transcribe her stenographic notes.

    Athalie Robert W. Chambers
  • We can transcribe an agreement and place it in the Public Repository.

    The Lani People J. F. Bone
  • And then he says a thing so terrible that I tremble to transcribe it.

British Dictionary definitions for transcribe


verb (transitive)
to write, type, or print out fully from speech, notes, etc
to make a phonetic transcription of
to transliterate or translate
to make an electrical recording of (a programme or speech) for a later broadcast
(music) to rewrite (a piece of music) for an instrument or medium other than that originally intended; arrange
  1. to transfer (information) from one storage device, such as punched cards, to another, such as magnetic tape
  2. to transfer (information) from a computer to an external storage device
(usually passive) (biochem) to convert the genetic information in (a strand of DNA) into a strand of RNA, esp messenger RNA See also genetic code, translate (sense 6)
Derived Forms
transcribable, adjective
transcriber, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin transcrībere, from trans- + scrībere to write
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for transcribe

1550s, from Latin transcribere "to copy, write again in another place, write over, transfer," from trans- "over" (see trans-) + scribere "write" (see script (n.)). To do it poorly is to transcribble (1746). Related: Transcribed; transcribing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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