en·​code | \ in-ˈkōd How to pronounce encode (audio) , en- \
encoded; encoding; encodes

Definition of encode

transitive verb

1a : to convert (something, such as a body of information) from one system of communication into another especially : to convert (a message) into code
b : to convey symbolically the capacity of poetry to encode ideology— J. D. Niles
2 : to specify the genetic code for

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from encode

encoder noun

Examples of encode in a Sentence

Credit cards are encoded with cardholder information. a technology that encodes images
Recent Examples on the Web During their development, individual B cells will mix and match segments of genes that encode antibodies, generating billions or trillions of unique combinations. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, "The Virus Is Evolving. But So Are Your Antibodies," 12 Feb. 2021 So when experimenting with a new way to encode information into bacteria, that was the first message that scientists studying DNA data storage tried out. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Scientists Write ‘Hello World’ in Bacterial DNA With Electricity and CRISPR," 16 Jan. 2021 The goal was to encode cosmopolitanism in a whole generation. John Mcwhorter, Washington Post, "Biden Should ...," 15 Jan. 2021 Sometimes the mutation does nothing at all, because different sequences that encode the same proteins make up for the error. Gregory Barber, Wired, "Can an AI Predict the Language of Viral Mutation?," 14 Jan. 2021 But because this setup could store only a couple of bits of data, Wang and his colleagues replaced the fructose-recognition system with one that could encode longer strings of information: an electronic input. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Scientists ‘program’ living bacteria to store data," 11 Jan. 2021 Determining the order of amino acids in the chain of a protein is relatively easy.—they're defined by the order of DNA bases within the gene that encode the protein. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "DeepMind AI handles protein folding, which humbled previous software," 30 Nov. 2020 His work here is to become part of the fauna, to enter the understory, to encode himself in nature. Michael Paterniti Kiese Makeba Laymon Carina Del Valle Schorske Dessa Irina Aleksander Sam Dolnick Mark Binelli Maggie Jones Rob Hoerburger Jamie Lauren Keiles Devin Gordon Jazmine Hughes Jenna Wortham Jade Chang Taffy Brodesser-akner Kaitlyn Greenidge Reginald Dwayne Betts Rowan Ricardo Phillips Wesley Morris Ismail Muhammad Anthony Giardina, New York Times, "Remembering some of the artists, innovators and thinkers we lost in the past year.," 24 Dec. 2020 Another might encode a missing enzyme to reverse a rare genetic disease. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "Messenger RNA gave us a COVID-19 vaccine. Will it treat diseases, too?," 16 Dec. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of encode

circa 1919, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about encode

Time Traveler for encode

Time Traveler

The first known use of encode was circa 1919

See more words from the same year

Statistics for encode

Last Updated

23 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Encode.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/encode. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for encode



English Language Learners Definition of encode

: to put (a message) into the form of a code so that it can kept secret
: to put information in the form of a code on (something)
: to change (information) into a set of letters, numbers, or symbols that can be read by a computer
en·​code | \ in-ˈkōd, en- How to pronounce encode (audio) \
encoded; encoding

Medical Definition of encode

: to specify the genetic code for each nucleotide triplet or codon on the mRNA chain encodes a specific amino acid— J. E. Darnell, Jr.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on encode

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


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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