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  1. a word, phrase, or sentence formed from another by rearranging its letters: “Angel” is an anagram of “glean.”
  2. anagrams, (used with a singular verb) a game in which the players build words by transposing and, often, adding letters.
verb (used with object), an·a·grammed, an·a·gram·ming.
  1. to form (the letters of a text) into a secret message by rearranging them.
  2. to rearrange (the letters of a text) so as to discover a secret message.

Origin of anagram

1580–90; probably < Middle French anagramme < New Latin anagramma. See ana-, -gram1
Related formsan·a·gram·mat·ic [an-uh-gruh-mat-ik] /ˌæn ə grəˈmæt ɪk/, an·a·gram·mat·i·cal, adjectivean·a·gram·mat·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for anagram

game, cipher, logograph

Examples from the Web for anagram

Contemporary Examples of anagram

Historical Examples of anagram

British Dictionary definitions for anagram


  1. a word or phrase the letters of which can be rearranged into another word or phrase
Derived Formsanagrammatic (ˌænəɡrəˈmætɪk) or anagrammatical, adjectiveanagrammatically, adverb

Word Origin for anagram

C16: from New Latin anagramma, shortened from Greek anagrammatismos, from anagrammatizein to transpose letters, from ana- + gramma a letter
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

Word Origin and History for anagram

transposition of letters in a word so as to form another, 1580s, from French anagramme or Modern Latin anagramma (16c.), both from Greek anagrammatizein "transpose letters," from ana- "up, back" (see ana-) + gramma (genitive grammatos) "letter" (see grammar). Related: Anagrammatical; anagrammatically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper