an·​a·​gram | \ ˈa-nə-ˌgram How to pronounce anagram (audio) \

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

Examples of anagram in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The proof is in the anagram: WALL UP YOUR MIND FROM ALIENS! Washington Post, "Style Conversational Week 1373: Would buy again!," 27 Feb. 2020 Loxarel uses only the traditional cava grapes, xarello (Loxarel is an anagram), macabeu and parellada, grown biodynamically or organically. Eric Asimov, New York Times, "15 Wines Under $15: Inexpensive Bottles for Stay-at-Home Drinking," 2 Apr. 2020 The 50,000 people of Greenland vs. charred mollusk on a stick: The former could be called Denmark’s Ultra-cool Hicks; the latter is an anagram of that. Washington Post, "Style Invitational Week 1352: Hee-rotica," 3 Oct. 2019 Part of the tip-off was the fictitious person’s name: Ron Vara, which is an anagram of Navarro. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Peter Navarro and his imaginary friend become a thing," 20 Oct. 2019 Another player might then shout out the anagram RATS. The Reader's Catalog, "Anagram Game," 17 June 2019 Finally, Kondrak and Hauer assumed the manuscript was an anagram, meaning the letters in each word have been scrambled. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "The Truly Baffling Case of the Ancient Voynich Manuscript," 12 Sep. 2019 Players compete to collect as many words as possible, either by using new letters as they are revealed or by spotting anagrams and poaching their opponents’ words. The Reader's Catalog, "Anagram Game," 17 June 2019 He was known for his speedy solutions in games of anagrams that flew around the room in the interest of wasting time. Quanta Magazine, "A Life in Games," 28 Aug. 2015 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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, "Style Conversational Week 1371: We’re permutation nation," 13 Feb. 2020

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

Noun and Verb

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

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Learn More about anagram

Time Traveler for anagram

Time Traveler

The first known use of anagram was in 1589

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Statistics for anagram

Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Anagram.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on anagram

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with anagram

Spanish Central: Translation of anagram

Nglish: Translation of anagram for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of anagram for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about anagram

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