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

As for the Handbrake test, not much changed there with the test PC re-encoding a 3.8GB HD MKV file in one hour and 15 minutes. Ian Paul, PCWorld, "Bitdefender Total Security 2019 review: This AV suite builds a better autopilot," 13 Sep. 2018 The documents that encoded the participatory democracy of which Americans tend to be so proud expressly barred the electoral, civic, and economic participation of the nonwhite and the non-male. Rebecca Traister, The Cut, "Summer of Rage," 29 June 2018 So the latest study used a new technique known as whole-exome sequencing to only target genes that encode proteins. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Unraveling the Genetics Behind Why Some People “See” Sound and “Hear” Color," 12 Mar. 2018 Frequently, such SNPs are not even in the bits of the genome that directly encode proteins. The Economist, "A big collaboration is trying to understand diseases of the psyche," 28 June 2018 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

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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Last Updated

16 Nov 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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