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an·​a·​gram ˈa-nə-ˌgram How to pronounce anagram (audio)
: a word or phrase made by transposing the letters of another word or phrase
The word "secure" is an anagram of "rescue."
anagrams plural in form but singular in construction : a game in which words are formed by rearranging the letters of other words or by arranging letters taken (as from a stock of cards or blocks) at random
anagrammatic adjective
or less commonly anagrammatical
anagrammatically adverb


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anagrammed; anagramming

transitive verb

: anagrammatize
anagrammed the letters of "battle" to form "tablet"
: to rearrange (the letters of a text) in order to discover a hidden message

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
The duo’s Sire Records — the name of which was an anagram of the first two letters in the partners’ first names — set up shop in the Brill Building, Manhattan’s music-biz hub, later that year. Chris Morris, Variety, 2 Apr. 2023 It’s made using the same method as Champagne, with the second fermentation in the bottle, and with the classic grapes of cava, parellada, macabeu and xarello, of which Loxarel is an anagram. New York Times, 21 July 2022 Lydia’s surname is an anagram for art — and also, as a disaffected acolyte notes, for rat. A.o. Scott, New York Times, 5 Sep. 2022 To begin with, Senay asked 53 psychology students to solve an anagram task, rearranging the letters of ten words into ten new ones. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 19 Mar. 2010 Even so, all the subjects performed about the same on their anagram-solving test. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 15 Mar. 2013 The accented anagram of the film’s title hints at Field’s first mission: getting inside the definitions of art and artist. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 19 Nov. 2022 Much like Cheung’s fish-out-of-water star, Vikander’s Mira (dig that anagram) is caught in a cultural vortex that both excites and confuses her. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 20 June 2022 Cravotta's simple anagram game—whose gameplay closely resembled PikPok's popular, pre-existing Four Letters—received a few updates in the months after its release, but then sat untouched and largely unnoticed for years. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 5 May 2022
Every time someone joins (several people a week) the Devs commence to anagram the newbie’s name in every which way but the real one — sometimes dozens. Washington Post, 13 Feb. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'anagram.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



probably from Middle French anagramme, from New Latin anagrammat-, anagramma, modification of Greek anagrammatismos, from anagrammatizein to transpose letters, from ana- + grammat-, gramma letter — more at gram


derivative of anagram entry 1

First Known Use


1589, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1622, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of anagram was in 1589

Dictionary Entries Near anagram

Cite this Entry

“Anagram.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a word or phrase made out of another by changing the order of the letters
"rebate" is an anagram of "beater"

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