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 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 So is the National Archives’ Citizen Archivist project, which asks people to transcribe handwritten Native American treaties or tag World War II posters for easier searching. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Library of Congress Seeks Volunteers to Transcribe Letters to Theodore Roosevelt," 4 Dec. 2020 The real Rainey’s interior life existed in her music, and all Wilson had to do was stand back and listen, and then transcribe it. Hilton Als, The New Yorker, "Reimagining August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” on the Small Screen," 14 Dec. 2020 Some have raised concerns that errors could be made as poll workers transcribe votes. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "When will we know final unofficial election results in Wisconsin? It likely won't be before Wednesday, and maybe not even then.," 30 Oct. 2020 The school provided a braille display to transcribe text, a Perkins Brailler for writing and an embossing machine to print. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, "He’s 7 and blind. How will he learn remotely?," 28 Sep. 2020 One of the key capabilities of the Microsoft Teams software is its ability to listen to, record, and transcribe the conversation. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "A Microsoft Teams smart speaker moves Cortana to the conference room," 22 Sep. 2020 Once, following an interview with Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s brother, Raúl, at the Cuban Embassy in Athens, Demetracopoulos got the Cubans to transcribe the interview and Raúl to sign each page. Ann Marie Lipinski, Washington Post, "Pursuing truth — and fame — a reporter blurred journalism’s boundaries," 11 Sep. 2020 That left 4th Floor with about 25 hours worth of interviews to transcribe and sift through. Pat Brennan, The Enquirer, "Inside the creation of the FC Cincinnati documentary that shows you the club's biggest moments," 6 Sep. 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

7 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Transcribe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for transcribe


How to pronounce transcribe (audio)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on transcribe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for transcribe

Nglish: Translation of transcribe for Spanish Speakers

Comments on transcribe

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