an·​a·​gram | \ˈa-nə-ˌgram \

Definition of anagram 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a word or phrase made by transposing the letters of another word or phrase The word "secure" is an anagram of "rescue."

2 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


anagrammed; anagramming

Definition of anagram (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : anagrammatize anagrammed the letters of "battle" to form "tablet"

2 : to rearrange (the letters of a text) in order to discover a hidden message

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Other Words from anagram


anagrammatic \ ˌa-​nə-​grə-​ˈma-​tik \ or less commonly anagrammatical \ -​ti-​kəl \ adjective
anagrammatically \ -​ti-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of anagram in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

His poems have been influenced by riddles, anagrams and Japanese slide shows called pechakucha. New York Times, "Sonnets That Reckon With Donald Trump’s America," 19 June 2018 With that crew around, however, and L.B. driving the entertainments, the long evenings could become barbed—anagrams and other word games were played as life-and-death matters, and more than one participant, Jamie says, left the room in tears. David Denby, The New Yorker, "Leonard Bernstein Through His Daughter’s Eyes," 16 June 2018 Mensa provides a set of friends who understand his anagrams, palindromes and other word games, Lederer said. Bradley J. Fikes,, "Brain bros and sapient sisters! Mensa may be for you," 26 May 2018 To stay sharp, Anderson spends at least 30 minutes a day on anagrams, rearranging letters to form words. Julia Terruso,, "The U.S. Scrabble champ is a Lancaster guy with a killer vision," 13 May 2018 It was called AvisOne Traders Inc.—AvisOne being an anagram of evasion. Peter Coy,, "To Be Clear, Trump’s Tariffs Were Not ‘Produced by Purdue University’," 12 Mar. 2018 According to Entertainment Weekly, Hidalgo came up with the name Dobbu Scay as an an anagram for Lucasfilm editor Bob Ducsay. Joanna Robinson, HWD, "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," 17 Dec. 2017 Security specialists advise creating anagrams based on song lyrics, movie quotations or sayings. Nicole Perlroth, New York Times, "Email Attack Hits Google: What to Do if You Clicked," 3 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anagram.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of anagram


1589, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1630, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for anagram


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


see anagram entry 1

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Time Traveler for anagram

The first known use of anagram was in 1589

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something that serves to warn or remind

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