decipher

[ dih-sahy-fer ]
/ dɪˈsaɪ fər /

verb (used with object)

to make out the meaning of (poor or partially obliterated writing, etc.): to decipher a hastily scribbled note.
to discover the meaning of (anything obscure or difficult to trace or understand): to decipher hieroglyphics.
to interpret by the use of a key, as something written in cipher: to decipher a secret message.
Obsolete. to depict; portray.

Nearby words

  1. decimation,
  2. decimeter,
  3. decimetre,
  4. decimus,
  5. decinormal,
  6. decision,
  7. decision making,
  8. decision procedure,
  9. decision support system,
  10. decision table

Origin of decipher

1520–30; translation of Middle French déchiffrer. See de-, cipher

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for undecipherable


British Dictionary definitions for undecipherable

decipher

/ (dɪˈsaɪfə) /

verb (tr)

to determine the meaning of (something obscure or illegible)
to convert from code into plain text; decode
Derived Formsdecipherable, adjectivedecipherability, noundecipherer, noundecipherment, 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

Word Origin and History for undecipherable
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper