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 If validated, the report by Google’s AI Quantum team constitutes a major leap for quantum computing, a technology that relies on the bizarre behavior of tiny particles to encode huge amounts of information. Sarah Kaplan, Anchorage Daily News, "Google scientists say they’ve achieved ‘quantum supremacy’ over classical computers," 23 Oct. 2019 If validated, the report by Google's AI Quantum team constitutes a major leap for quantum computing, a technology that relies on the bizarre behavior of tiny particles to encode huge amounts of information. oregonlive, "Google scientists claim ‘quantum supremacy’," 23 Oct. 2019 Many appear to be encoded in stretches of DNA—and RNA—that were not thought to help build proteins of any sort. Mitch Leslie, Science | AAAS, "New universe of miniproteins is upending cell biology and genetics," 17 Oct. 2019 Human biases and subjectivities are encoded every step of the way. Sidney Fussell, The Atlantic, "Algorithms Are People," 18 Sep. 2019 No matter the name on the jersey, there is a tendency for self-destruction and, at times, for sheer, bloody-minded stupidity encoded deep in the DNA of the club. Rory Smith, New York Times, "At Arsenal, Rewriting the Story May Take a Bit More Time," 1 Sep. 2019 There are three fundamental elements needed: a tape that encodes the computation; a controller to determine what action to take next based on the current state of play; and a read/write head under the control of the controller. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "It’s possible to build a Turing machine within Magic: The Gathering," 23 June 2019 Inside the capsule is a single strand of ribonucleic acid, or RNA, that encodes the genetic information to make new virus particles. Patricia L. Foster, The Conversation, "A newly designed vaccine may help stamp out remaining polio cases worldwide," 13 Sep. 2019 In 2006, Google started adding emojis to its products, and several Google employees (including Davis, who works there) put together a proposal that asked Unicode to encode emojis. Sophie Haigney, The New Yorker, "Should There Be an Emoji for Everything?," 22 July 2019

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

16 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Encode.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/encoding. Accessed 22 November 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for encode


How to pronounce encode (audio)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on encode

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with encode

Spanish Central: Translation of encode

Nglish: Translation of encode for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of encode for Arabic Speakers

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).


not agreeing with established beliefs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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