tran·​scribe | \ tran(t)-ˈskrīb How to pronounce transcribe (audio) \
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
2a : to represent (speech sounds) by means of phonetic symbols
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 The main body of the story is the deputy’s account of the night in question, tape-recorded so that his secretary can transcribe it. Justin Taylor, Harper's Magazine, "Every True Pleasure Is a Secret," 16 Mar. 2021 Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine candidates require rare ingredients that are in short supply, such as the lipids used to encase the mRNA and the enzymes used to transcribe it. Sue Halpern, The New Yorker, "Why COVID-19 Vaccines Aren’t Yet Available to Everyone," 13 Mar. 2021 Other participants: Will include a judge's clerk, and a court reporter who will transcribe the proceedings. Mark Boswell, Star Tribune, "See inside the courtroom where Derek Chauvin is being tried," 9 Mar. 2021 Now, reports Ellen Gutoskey for Mental Floss, the Library of Congress is seeking the public’s help to transcribe tens of thousands of letters addressed to Roosevelt. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Library of Congress Seeks Volunteers to Transcribe Letters to Theodore Roosevelt," 4 Dec. 2020 This allows the speaker to transcribe meetings, allowing participants to reread what was said in the room and figure out who said what. Jacob Siegal, BGR, "Microsoft’s smart speakers can do something Amazon’s Echo can’t," 2 Mar. 2021 When Lincoln ran against Stephen Douglas for U.S. senator in 1858, Medill sent a stenographer to transcribe his debates with Douglas, the incumbent. Ron Grossman,, "Flashback: A crisis of conscience over slavery gave birth to a formidable political force: The Republican Party," 26 Feb. 2021 Hendrickson sat opposite him at a computer, his hands hovering over the keyboard, ready to transcribe notes. Elliot Ackerman, Wired, "2034, Part I: Peril in the South China Sea," 26 Jan. 2021 Volunteers are also needed to transcribe some of these women computers’ notebooks that contain references to photographic glass plates. Rachael Lallensack, Smithsonian Magazine, "Seventy-Five Scientific Research Projects You Can Contribute to Online," 15 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for transcribe

Time Traveler

The first known use of transcribe was in 1552

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Statistics for transcribe

Last Updated

31 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Transcribe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce transcribe (audio) \
transcribed; transcribing

Kids Definition of transcribe

: to make a copy of


transitive verb
tran·​scribe | \ tran(t)s-ˈkrīb How to pronounce transcribe (audio) \
transcribed; transcribing

Medical Definition of transcribe

: to cause (as DNA) to undergo genetic transcription

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for transcribe

Nglish: Translation of transcribe for Spanish Speakers

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