• synonyms


[trans-lit-uh-reyt, tranz-]
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verb (used with object), trans·lit·er·at·ed, trans·lit·er·at·ing.
  1. to change (letters, words, etc.) into corresponding characters of another alphabet or language: to transliterate the Greek Χ as ch.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for transliteration

Historical Examples

  • Position your mouse over the line to see the transliteration.

    The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    Samuel Taylor Coleridge

  • Longer passages have the transliteration immediately following.

  • Position your mouse over the word to see the transliteration.

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British Dictionary definitions for transliteration


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

Word Origin

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 transliteration


1861, from trans- + literation.

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"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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper