[ trans-ley-shuhn, tranz- ]
See synonyms for translation on
  1. the rendering of something into another language or into one's own from another language.

  2. a version of such a rendering: a new translation of Plato.

  1. change or conversion to another form, appearance, etc.; transformation: a swift translation of thought into action.

  2. the act or process of translating.

  3. the state of being translated.

  4. Mechanics. motion in which all particles of a body move with the same velocity along parallel paths.

  5. Telegraphy. the retransmitting or forwarding of a message, as by relay.

  6. Mathematics.

    • a function obtained from a given function by adding the same constant to each value of the variable of the given function and moving the graph of the function a constant distance to the right or left.

    • a transformation in which every point of a geometric figure is moved the same distance in the same direction.

  7. Genetics. the process by which a messenger RNA molecule specifies the linear sequence of amino acids on a ribosome for protein synthesis.: Compare genetic code.

Idioms about translation

  1. lose something in translation. See entry at lose in translation.

Origin of translation

First recorded in 1300–50; from Latin trānslātiōn- (stem of trānslātiō ) “a transferring,” equivalent to trānslāt(us) (see translate) + -iōn- -ion; replacing Middle English translacioun, from Anglo-French, from Latin, as above

synonym study For translation

2. Translation , paraphrase , version refer to a rewording of something. A translation is a rendering of the same ideas in a different language from the original: a translation from Greek into English. A paraphrase is a free rendering of the sense of a passage in other words, usually in the same language: a paraphrase of a poem. A version is a translation, especially of the Bible, or else an account of something illustrating a particular point of view: the Douay Version.

Other words from translation

  • trans·la·tion·al, adjective
  • trans·la·tion·al·ly, adverb
  • pre·trans·la·tion, noun
  • re·trans·la·tion, noun

Words Nearby translation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use translation in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for translation


/ (trænsˈleɪʃən, trænz-) /

  1. something that is or has been translated, esp a written text

  2. the act of translating or the state of being translated

  1. maths a transformation in which the origin of a coordinate system is moved to another position so that each axis retains the same direction or, equivalently, a figure or curve is moved so that it retains the same orientation to the axes

Derived forms of translation

  • translational, adjective

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

Scientific definitions for translation


[ trăns-lāshən ]

  1. Biochemistry The process in the ribosomes of a cell by which a strand of messenger RNA directs the assembly of a sequence of amino acids to make a protein. Compare transcription.

  2. Physics Motion of a body in which every point of the body moves parallel to and the same distance as every other point of the body.

  1. Mathematics The changing of the coordinates of points to coordinates that are referred to new axes that are parallel to the old axes.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.