[ dee-kohd ]
See synonyms for decode on
verb (used with object),de·cod·ed, de·cod·ing.
  1. to translate (data or a message) from a code into the original language or form.

  2. to extract meaning from (spoken or written symbols).

  1. Television. to unscramble (an electronic signal) so as to provide a video picture for cable subscribers.

verb (used without object),de·cod·ed, de·cod·ing.
  1. to work at decoding.

Origin of decode

First recorded in 1895–1900; de- + code Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use decode in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for decode


/ (diːˈkəʊd) /

  1. to convert (a message, text, etc) from code into ordinary language

  2. computing to convert (coded characters) from one form to another, as from binary-coded decimals to decimal numbers: Compare encode (def. 2)

  1. electronics to convert (a coded electrical signal) into normal analogue components

  2. to analyse and understand the construction of words and phrases, esp in a foreign language

Derived forms of decode

  • decoder, 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