[uhn-skram-buh l]

verb (used with object), un·scram·bled, un·scram·bling.

to bring out of a scrambled condition; reduce to order or intelligibility.
Also descramble. to make (a scrambled radio or telephonic message) comprehensible by systematically tuning the receiver to the frequencies used in transmission.Compare decode(def 2).

Origin of unscramble

First recorded in 1915–20; un-2 + scramble
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unscramble

Contemporary Examples of unscramble

  • But, with every quarter that passes, it's harder to unscramble the egg.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Worse Than Enron?

    Nomi Prins

    December 1, 2009

Historical Examples of unscramble

  • The disadvantage, soon manifest, was that no plan had been devised to unscramble the reports from the various tanks.

  • In the Pentagon it takes days to unscramble a received broadcast such as Betsy receives!

    The Machine That Saved The World

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

  • "These two'll unscramble that broadcast," said Sergeant Bellews, with tranquil confidence.

    The Machine That Saved The World

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

British Dictionary definitions for unscramble


verb (tr)

to resolve from confusion or disorderliness
to restore (a scrambled message) to an intelligible form
Derived Formsunscrambler, 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 unscramble

"restore to order," 1923, from un- (2) + scramble (v.). The original notion probably is from the old retort about the impossibility of unscrambling eggs. Related: Unscrambled; unscrambling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper