[trans-lit-uh-reyt, tranz-]

verb (used with object), trans·lit·er·at·ed, trans·lit·er·at·ing.

to change (letters, words, etc.) into corresponding characters of another alphabet or language: to transliterate the Greek Χ as ch.

Nearby words

  1. translation,
  2. translation dictionary,
  3. translation of axes,
  4. translative,
  5. translator,
  6. transliteration,
  7. translocate,
  8. translocation,
  9. translocation down syndrome,
  10. translucence

Origin of transliterate

1860–65; trans- + Latin līter(a) letter1 + -ate1

Related formstrans·lit·er·a·tion, nountrans·lit·er·a·tor, noun

Can be confusedtranslate transliterate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for transliterate

  • The 114 author is apparently unable to transliterate properly the Old English names.

    The Translations of Beowulf|Chauncey Brewster Tinker

British Dictionary definitions for transliterate



(tr) to transcribe (a word, etc, in one alphabet) into corresponding letters of another alphabetthe Greek word λογοσ can be transliterated as ``logos''
Derived Formstransliteration, nountransliterator, noun

Word Origin for transliterate

C19: trans- + -literate, from Latin līttera letter

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 transliterate



"to write a word in the characters of another alphabet," 1861, apparently coined by German philologist Max Müller (1823-1900), from trans- "across" (see trans-) + Latin littera (also litera) "letter, character" (see letter).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper