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[trans-lit-uh-reyt, tranz-] /trænsˈlɪt əˌreɪt, trænz-/
verb (used with object), transliterated, transliterating.
to change (letters, words, etc.) into corresponding characters of another alphabet or language:
to transliterate the Greek Χ as ch.
Origin of transliterate
1860-65; trans- + Latin līter(a) letter1 + -ate1
Related forms
transliteration, noun
transliterator, noun
Can be confused
translate, transliterate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for transliterate
Historical Examples
  • The 114 author is apparently unable to transliterate properly the Old English names.

    The Translations of Beowulf Chauncey Brewster Tinker
British Dictionary definitions for transliterate


(transitive) to transcribe (a word, etc, in one alphabet) into corresponding letters of another alphabet: the Greek word λογοσ can be transliterated as ``logos''
Derived Forms
transliteration, noun
transliterator, noun
Word Origin
C19: trans- + -literate, from Latin lītteraletter
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 transliterate

"to write a word in the characters of another alphabet," 1861, apparently coined by German philologist Max Müller (1823-1900), from trans- "across" (see trans-) + Latin littera (also litera) "letter, character" (see letter).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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