Definition of decode
1a : to convert (as a coded message) into intelligible formb : to recognize and interpret (an electronic signal)
2a : decipher 3ab : to discover the underlying meaning of <decode the play's imagery>
Examples of decode in a sentence
Readers can easily decode the novel's imagery.
I'm trying to decode the expression on her face.
The box decodes the digital signal for your CD player.
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
DECODE Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of decode for Students
: to change a message in code into ordinary language
Seen and Heard
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