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

Examples of anagram in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The song’s title, meanwhile, is an anagram for none other than Madonna. Hank Shteamer, Rolling Stone, "Slint Look Back on 'Spiderland' at 30," 25 Mar. 2021 Include the original title or text — spelled correctly, so that your anagram makes sense — or the Empress will be Scrooge-scowly. Washington Post, "Style Invitational Week 1412: Jumble bells," 25 Nov. 2020 In the stage version, Ms. Castro and several members of her company, a canary torsi (an anagram of her name), guide participants through a series of scores that change with each performance. Siobhan Burke, New York Times, "Make Some Noise and Move: A Choreographer Provides Instructions," 1 Nov. 2020 His newest album, Stolen Car (an anagram of his name), was released on September 25. Catherine Sinow, Ars Technica, "Deep algebra for deep beats: The beautiful sounds of musical programming," 26 Sep. 2020 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 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


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

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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

2 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Anagram.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on anagram

Nglish: Translation of anagram for Spanish Speakers

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

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