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.

QUIZZES

WHO SAID IT: A QUIZ ON PRESIDENTIAL WIT AND WISDOM

Think you know your presidents? Take this quiz and see if you can match the style, wit, and ideology of these memorable lines to the right POTUS.
Question 1 of 9
“I do believe that the buck stops here, that I cannot rely upon public opinion polls to tell me what is right. I do believe that right makes might and that if I am wrong, 10 angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”

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