- 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.
Origin of decipher
SynonymsSee more synonyms for decipher on Thesaurus.com
2. comprehend, solve, unravel, explain.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for decipherable
Without a strong magnifying glass, not a word was decipherable.The Web of the Golden Spider
Frederick Orin Bartlett
Her figure-head had been washed away and the name on her stern was not decipherable.Jack Harkaway in New York
As before, these marks are only decipherable when the cards are held at a proper angle.Sharps and Flats
John Nevil Maskelyne
In worn examples the row of five stamps is not decipherable.Chats on Old Sheffield Plate
Admirable, ineffaceable, because so essentially all decipherable, Vanderpool!Notes of a Son and Brother
- to determine the meaning of (something obscure or illegible)
- to convert from code into plain text; decode
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 decipherable
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper