decipher

play
verb de·ci·pher \dē-ˈsī-fər\

Definition of decipher

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  decode 1a decipher a secret message

  3. 2 obsolete :  depict with her majesty's name deciphered in gold letters — Jonathan Swift

  4. 3a :  to make out the meaning of despite indistinctness or obscurity trying to decipher her handwritingb :  to interpret the meaning of decipher the poem

decipherable

play \-f(ə-)rə-bəl\ adjective

decipherer

play \-fər-ər\ noun

decipherment

play \-fər-mənt\ noun

Examples of decipher in a Sentence

  1. I couldn't decipher his sloppy handwriting.

  2. we deciphered the hidden message to find out when we were supposed to meet

Recent Examples of decipher from the Web

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

First Known Use of decipher

1545


DECIPHER Defined for English Language Learners

decipher

play
verb

Definition of decipher for English Language Learners

  • : to find the meaning of (something that is difficult to read or understand)


DECIPHER Defined for Kids

decipher

play
verb de·ci·pher \dē-ˈsī-fər\

Definition of decipher for Students

deciphered

;

deciphering

  1. 1 :  to translate from secret or mysterious writing :  decode

  2. 2 :  to make out the meaning of something not clear I can't decipher her sloppy handwriting.



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up decipher? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to reach the highest or a decisive point

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!