[ verb trans-pohz; noun trans-pohz ]
/ verb trænsˈpoʊz; noun ˈtræns poʊz /
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verb (used with object), trans·posed, trans·pos·ing.

verb (used without object), trans·posed, trans·pos·ing.

to perform a piece of music in a key other than the one in which it is written: to transpose at sight.


Mathematics. a matrix formed from a given matrix by transposing.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of transpose

1350–1400; Middle English transposen to transmute <Middle French transposer.See trans-, pose1


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for transpose

British Dictionary definitions for transpose

/ (trænsˈpəʊz) /


(tr) to alter the positions of; interchange, as words in a sentence; put into a different order
  1. to play (notes, music, etc) in a different key from that originally intended
  2. to move (a note or series of notes) upwards or downwards in pitch
(tr) maths to move (a term) from one side of an equation to the other with a corresponding reversal in sign


maths the matrix resulting from interchanging the rows and columns of a given matrix

Derived forms of transpose

transposable, adjectivetransposability, nountransposal, nountransposer, noun

Word Origin for transpose

C14: from Old French transposer, from Latin transpōnere to remove, from trans- + pōnere to place
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

Medical definitions for transpose

[ trăns-pōz ]


To transfer one tissue, organ, or part to the place of another.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for transpose

[ trăns-pōz ]

To move a term or quantity from one side of an algebraic equation to the other by adding or subtracting that term to or from both sides. By subtracting 2 from both sides of the equation 2 + x = 4, one can transpose the 2 to the other side, yielding x = 4 - 2, and thus determine that x equals 2.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.