tran·scribe | \ tran(t)-ˈskrīb \
transcribed; transcribing

Definition of transcribe 

transitive verb

1a : to make a written copy of

b : to make a copy of (dictated or recorded matter) in longhand or on a machine (such as a typewriter)

c : to paraphrase or summarize in writing

d : write down, record

2a : to represent (speech sounds) by means of phonetic symbols

b : translate sense 1a

c : to transfer (data) from one recording form to another

d : to record (as on magnetic tape) for later broadcast

3 : to make a musical transcription of

4 : to cause (DNA or RNA) to undergo genetic transcription

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Other words from transcribe

transcriber noun

Examples of transcribe in a Sentence

He transcribed all of his great-grandfather's letters. The senator's speech was transcribed. a Mozart string quartet transcribed for piano a system that allows linguists to transcribe the sounds of any language
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Recent Examples on the Web

There is also a massive volunteer effort to correct any errors generated by the computer and to transcribe handwritten materials. Deneen L. Brown, Washington Post, "Massive Helen Keller archive reveals little-known details about the advocate’s extraordinary life," 1 July 2018 After that, Hutchings was no longer allowed to transcribe the sessions. Joy Lanzendorfer, Longreads, "Ghost Writer: The Story of Patience Worth, the Posthumous Author," 14 June 2018 Here is my attempt to transcribe the lyrics: Woopity scoop. Michael Harriot, The Root, "New Music From MAGA Kanye Asks Black People to Pull Themselves up by Their Yeezy Bootstraps," 28 Apr. 2018 And fact-checking a quote transcribed during casual conversation with an acquaintance is a different process from fact-checking a quote gathered in a formal interview. Constance Grady, Vox, "Book publishing’s fact-checking failure, as illustrated by the Sally Kohn controversy," 20 Apr. 2018 Winter said further details of the medical examiner’s findings would be available once a full medical report is transcribed. Richard Winton,, "Father killed at Malibu campground was shot in head, coroner says," 27 June 2018 On Friday, April 13, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee requested transcribed interviews with five EPA officials, but did not list Dravis because the committee believed Dravis was no longer employed by the agency. Jeremy Diamond, CNN, "EPA sources: Pruitt aide tried to back-date departure after congressional interview request," 20 Apr. 2018 After landing the job, Dorey-Stein spent five years traveling the world with President Obama, transcribing his every word. Tessa Berenson, Time, "‘I Knew Everything About Him.’ An Obama White House Staffer on What It Was Like to Work For the Former President," 12 July 2018 Researchers knew retroviruses—which transcribe their RNA genome into DNA and integrate it into a host cell's genome—existed in animals. Kai Kupferschmidt, Science | AAAS, "Scientists are declaring war against a leukemia-causing virus that has infected millions," 23 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'transcribe.' 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 transcribe

1552, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for transcribe

Latin transcribere, from trans- + scribere to write — more at scribe

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Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for transcribe

The first known use of transcribe was in 1552

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More Definitions for transcribe



English Language Learners Definition of transcribe

: to make a written copy of (something)

: to write down (something that is spoken)

: to rewrite (a piece of music) so that it can be performed by a different instrument or voice


tran·scribe | \ tran-ˈskrīb \
transcribed; transcribing

Kids Definition of transcribe

: to make a copy of


transitive verb
tran·scribe | \ tran(t)s-ˈkrīb \
transcribed; transcribing

Medical Definition of transcribe 

: to cause (as DNA) to undergo genetic transcription

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Comments on transcribe

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


occurring twice a year or every two years

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