[ trans-leyt, tranz-, trans-leyt, tranz- ]
See synonyms for: translatetranslatedtranslatestranslating on

verb (used with object),trans·lat·ed, trans·lat·ing.
  1. to turn from one language into another or from a foreign language into one's own: to translate Spanish.

  2. to change the form, condition, nature, etc., of; transform; convert: to translate wishes into deeds.

  1. to explain in terms that can be more easily understood; interpret.

  2. to bear, carry, or move from one place, position, etc., to another; transfer.

  3. Mechanics. to cause (a body) to move without rotation or angular displacement; subject to translation.

  4. Computers. to convert (a program, data, code, etc.) from one form to another: to translate a FORTRAN program into assembly language.

  5. Telegraphy. to retransmit or forward (a message), as by a relay.

  6. Ecclesiastical.

    • to move (a bishop) from one see to another.

    • to move (a see) from one place to another.

    • to move (relics) from one place to another.

  7. to convey or remove to heaven without natural death.

  8. Mathematics. to perform a translation on (a set, function, etc.).

  9. to express the value of (a currency) in a foreign currency by applying the exchange rate.

  10. to exalt in spiritual or emotional ecstasy; enrapture.

verb (used without object),trans·lat·ed, trans·lat·ing.
  1. to provide or make a translation; act as translator.

  2. to admit of translation: The Greek expression does not translate easily into English.

Origin of translate

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English translaten, from Latin trānslātus “borne across,” past participle of trānsferre “to bear across,” from trāns- trans- + ferre “to bear, bring, carry” (see also bear1); for the suppletive element -lātus, earlier tlātus (unrecorded), see also thole2, tolerate

Other words from translate

  • trans·lat·a·ble, adjective
  • trans·lat·a·bil·i·ty, trans·lat·a·ble·ness, noun
  • half-trans·lat·ed, adjective
  • in·ter·trans·lat·a·ble, adjective
  • pre·trans·late, verb (used with object), pre·trans·lat·ed, pre·trans·lat·ing.
  • re·trans·late, verb (used with object), re·trans·lat·ed, re·trans·lat·ing.
  • un·trans·lat·a·bil·i·ty, noun
  • un·trans·lat·a·ble, adjective
  • un·trans·lat·ed, adjective
  • well-trans·lat·ed, adjective

Words that may be confused with translate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use translate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for translate


/ (trænsˈleɪt, trænz-) /

  1. to express or be capable of being expressed in another language or dialect: he translated Shakespeare into Afrikaans; his books translate well

  2. (intr) to act as translator

  1. (tr) to express or explain in simple or less technical language

  2. (tr) to interpret or infer the significance of (gestures, symbols, etc)

  3. (tr) to transform or convert: to translate hope into reality

  4. (tr; usually passive) biochem to transform the molecular structure of (messenger RNA) into a polypeptide chain by means of the information stored in the genetic code: See also transcribe (def. 7)

  5. to move or carry from one place or position to another

  6. (tr)

    • to transfer (a cleric) from one ecclesiastical office to another

    • to transfer (a see) from one place to another

  7. (tr) RC Church to transfer (the body or the relics of a saint) from one resting place to another

  8. (tr) theol to transfer (a person) from one place or plane of existence to another, as from earth to heaven

  9. maths physics to move (a figure or body) laterally, without rotation, dilation, or angular displacement

  10. (intr) (of an aircraft, missile, etc) to fly or move from one position to another

  11. (tr) archaic to bring to a state of spiritual or emotional ecstasy

Origin of translate

C13: from Latin translātus transferred, carried over, from transferre to transfer

Derived forms of translate

  • translatable, adjective
  • translatability, 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