decode

verb
de·​code | \ (ˌ)dē-ˈkōd How to pronounce decode (audio) \
decoded; decoding; decodes

Definition of decode

transitive verb

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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for decode

Synonyms

break, crack, decipher, decrypt

Antonyms

cipher, code, encipher, encode, encrypt

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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.

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The algorithm, just by reading their brain activity, decoded the answers with accuracy rates as high as 61 percent. Sigal Samuel, Vox, "Facebook is building tech to read your mind. The ethical implications are staggering.," 5 Aug. 2019 Stevens was awarded the Bronze Star for his work helping to decode a particularly difficult Japanese radio call sign. oregonlive, "John Paul Stevens, longtime leader of Supreme Court’s liberal wing, dies at 99," 16 July 2019 Malicious actors can decode what a person is typing by using a spying app that can access the smartphone’s microphone, according to the study, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Hamza Shaban, The Denver Post, "Hackers may glean your password by listening to how you type on your phone," 7 July 2019 To push those displays, Raspberry Pi is promising lots of multimedia support: H.265 decode for 4K60p, H.264 1080p60 decode and 1080p30 encode, and OpenGL ES 3.0 graphics. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "The Raspberry Pi 4 brings faster CPU, up to 4GB of RAM," 23 June 2019 Louisiana Key Academy student Emmy Youngs said her teachers help her decode words. CBS News, "Cracking the code of dyslexia," 25 Aug. 2019 But as few Etruscan texts have survived, and their language is only partly decoded, much about the ancient way of life remains mysterious. E.o’k. | Lazio, The Economist, "The enduring influence of the Etruscans on Italian culture," 20 Aug. 2019 These sequencing methods have made a prospect realistic that, until now, would have be considered sheer fantasy: decoding the language that makes up the entire diversity of life on earth. Eugene Koonin, Quartz, "What will we do once we’ve sequenced all the genomes?," 9 Aug. 2019 The speech decoding algorithms the researchers used were accurate up to 61% of the time at figuring out which of two dozen standard responses a participant spoke, right after the person was done talking. Rachel Metz, CNN, "Facebook gets closer to letting you type with your mind," 30 July 2019

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.

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First Known Use of decode

1896, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for decode

Last Updated

2 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for decode

The first known use of decode was in 1896

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More Definitions for decode

decode

verb

English Language Learners Definition of decode

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

decode

verb
de·​code | \ dē-ˈkōd How to pronounce decode (audio) \
decoded; decoding

Kids Definition of decode

: to change a message in code into ordinary language

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More from Merriam-Webster on decode

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with decode

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for decode

Spanish Central: Translation of decode

Nglish: Translation of decode for Spanish Speakers

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to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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