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[uhn-skram-buh l] /ʌnˈskræm bəl/
verb (used with object), unscrambled, unscrambling.
to bring out of a scrambled condition; reduce to order or intelligibility.
Also, descramble. to make (a scrambled radio or telephonic message) comprehensible by systematically tuning the receiver to the frequencies used in transmission.
Compare decode (def 2).
Origin of unscramble
First recorded in 1915-20; un-2 + scramble Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for unscramble
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The disadvantage, soon manifest, was that no plan had been devised to unscramble the reports from the various tanks.

  • In the Pentagon it takes days to unscramble a received broadcast such as Betsy receives!

    The Machine That Saved The World William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • "These two'll unscramble that broadcast," said Sergeant Bellews, with tranquil confidence.

    The Machine That Saved The World William Fitzgerald Jenkins
British Dictionary definitions for unscramble


verb (transitive)
to resolve from confusion or disorderliness
to restore (a scrambled message) to an intelligible form
Derived Forms
unscrambler, noun
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 unscramble

"restore to order," 1923, from un- (2) + scramble (v.). The original notion probably is from the old retort about the impossibility of unscrambling eggs. Related: Unscrambled; unscrambling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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