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[verb trans-pohz; noun trans-pohz] /verb trænsˈpoʊz; noun ˈtræns poʊz/
verb (used with object), transposed, transposing.
to change the relative position, order, or sequence of; cause to change places; interchange:
to transpose the third and fourth letters of a word.
to transfer or transport.
Algebra. to bring (a term) from one side of an equation to the other, with corresponding change of sign.
Mathematics. (of a matrix) to interchange rows and columns.
Music. to reproduce in a different key, by raising or lowering in pitch.
to transform; transmute.
verb (used without object), transposed, transposing.
to perform a piece of music in a key other than the one in which it is written:
to transpose at sight.
Mathematics. a matrix formed from a given matrix by transposing.
Origin of transpose
1350-1400; Middle English transposen to transmute < Middle French transposer. See trans-, pose1
Related forms
transposable, adjective
transposability, noun
transposer, noun
nontransposable, adjective
nontransposing, adjective
untransposed, adjective
1, 5. rearrange. 3. invert. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for transpose


(transitive) to alter the positions of; interchange, as words in a sentence; put into a different order
  1. to play (notes, music, etc) in a different key from that originally intended
  2. to move (a note or series of notes) upwards or downwards in pitch
(transitive) (maths) to move (a term) from one side of an equation to the other with a corresponding reversal in sign
(maths) the matrix resulting from interchanging the rows and columns of a given matrix
Derived Forms
transposable, adjective
transposability, noun
transposal, noun
transposer, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French transposer, from Latin transpōnere to remove, from trans- + pōnere to place
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 transpose

late 14c., from Old French transposer (14c.), from Latin transponere (past participle transpositus) "to place over," from trans- "over" (see trans-) + ponere "to put, place" (see position). Form altered in French on model of poser "to put, place." Sense of "put music in a different key" is from c.1600. Related: Transposed; transposing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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transpose in Medicine

transpose trans·pose (trāns-pōz')
v. trans·posed, trans·pos·ing, trans·pos·es
To transfer one tissue, organ, or part to the place of another.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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transpose in Science
To move a term or quantity from one side of an algebraic equation to the other by adding or subtracting that term to or from both sides. By subtracting 2 from both sides of the equation 2 + x = 4, one can transpose the 2 to the other side, yielding x = 4 - 2, and thus determine that x equals 2.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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