decipher

[ dih-sahy-fer ]
/ dɪˈsaɪ fər /

verb (used with object)

to make out the meaning of (poor or partially obliterated writing, etc.): to decipher a hastily scribbled note.
to discover the meaning of (anything obscure or difficult to trace or understand): to decipher hieroglyphics.
to interpret by the use of a key, as something written in cipher: to decipher a secret message.
Obsolete. to depict; portray.

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Origin of decipher

1520–30; translation of Middle French déchiffrer.See de-, cipher

OTHER WORDS FROM decipher

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for decipher

British Dictionary definitions for decipher

decipher
/ (dɪˈsaɪfə) /

verb (tr)

to determine the meaning of (something obscure or illegible)
to convert from code into plain text; decode

Derived forms of decipher

decipherable, adjectivedecipherability, noundecipherer, noundecipherment, 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