en·code | \ in-ˈkōd , 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

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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

Data encoded with FontCode can also endure across any image-preserving digital format, like PDF or PNG. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "You Can Send Invisible Messages With Subtle Font Tweaks," 20 May 2018 The early history of cinema—a mix of dangerous chemicals and early consumerism—can be found encoded in the architecture of the building. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "There Are Secrets in the Texas Theatre," 25 May 2018 One user converts a random sequence of 1s and 0s into a quantum key encoded in those two polarization states and sends it streaming to another person. Davide Castelvecchi, Scientific American, "The Quantum Internet Has Arrived (and It Hasn’t)," 16 Feb. 2018 Neither is how to identify the most important instincts and encode them flexibly. Matthew Hutson, Science | AAAS, "How researchers are teaching AI to learn like a child," 24 May 2018 Teaching a computer to pick a pedestrian out of an ocean of sensor data is easier than describing the difference, or even encoding it. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Inside Waymo’s strategy to grow the best brains for self-driving cars," 9 May 2018 First discovered in 1953, this structure uncovered a wealth of information about our genes and the DNA molecules that encode them. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Discover That the Double Helix Isn't the Only DNA Form," 24 Apr. 2018 In the last few years, an era of social activism and political unrest encoded in hashtags — #Resist, #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter — has a soundtrack every bit as direct. Greg Kot, chicagotribune.com, "Greg Kot picks his top albums of 2018 ... so far," 6 July 2018 There’s a secret message encoded on its surface by an algorithm. Michelle Z. Donahue, WIRED, "The Swedish Designer Creating Edible Robots," 18 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of encode

circa 1919, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for encode

Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for encode

The first known use of encode was circa 1919

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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- \
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.

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