decode

verb de·code \ (ˌ)dē-ˈkōd \
Updated on: 21 Feb 2018

Definition of decode

transitive verb
1 a : to convert (something, such as a coded message) into intelligible form
b : to recognize and interpret (an electronic signal)
2 a : decipher 3a
b : to discover the underlying meaning of
  • decode the play's imagery

Examples of decode in a Sentence

  1. Readers can easily decode the novel's imagery.

  2. I'm trying to decode the expression on her face.

  3. The box decodes the digital signal for your CD player.

Recent Examples of decode from the Web

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

Did You Know?

To decode is to take out of code and put into understandable language. (Its opposite is encode, "to put into coded form".) But dreams may sometimes also be decoded; psychologists often try to decode the images of their patients' dreams so as to understand the emotions behind them. And readers must often decode what a novel or story or poem is telling them, which may require two or three readings. Decipher is often a synonym, though we now use it when talking about reading difficult handwriting.

First Known Use of decode

1896


DECODE Defined for English Language Learners

decode

verb

Definition of decode for English Language Learners

  • : to change (secret messages, documents, etc.) from a set of letters, numbers, symbols, etc., you cannot understand into words you can understand

  • : to find or understand the true or hidden meaning of (something)

  • : to change signals for a radio, television, etc., to a form that can be heard or seen correctly


DECODE Defined for Kids

decode

verb de·code \ dē-ˈkōd \

Definition of decode for Students

decoded; decoding
: to change a message in code into ordinary language


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