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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web After thousands rallied against anti-Semitism in France earlier this year, The Epoch Times France transcribed of a YouTube video posted by Jean-Marie Le Pen, who thought there was no need for such a rally. Seth Hettena, The New Republic, "The Obscure Newspaper Fueling the Far-Right in Europe," 17 Sep. 2019 So the team recorded whale songs across multiple South Pacific wintering grounds—from Eastern Australia to French Polynesia—and began to transcribe them, looking for distinctive tropes. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Found: A Hub Where Humpback Whales Share Their Songs," 12 Sep. 2019 Google contractors transcribed commands spoken to Google Assistant. Sidney Fussell, The Atlantic, "People Are Starting to Realize How Voice Assistants Actually Work," 15 Aug. 2019 Salvi, as Gargaro did, also stressed that the two suspects ‘‘were brought to the interrogation physically free, without blindfolds or handcuffs.’’ Salvi said the interrogation, by two magistrates, ‘‘was recorded and entirely transcribed. Frances D’emilio,, "Italy: Teen held in officer’s death ‘illegally blindfolded’," 28 July 2019 Both Amazon and Google transcribe audio files from their customers’ smart speakers for algorithmic training purposes. David Carroll, Quartz, "China embraces its surveillance state. The US pretends it doesn’t have one," 23 July 2019 The software took the digitized audio and began transcribing it, while also identifying who was speaking, in a process known as diarization. Emma Ruby, Dallas News, "UT-Dallas celebrates personal ties with NASA 50 years after 'one small step for man'," 20 July 2019 For months, a Republic reporter has listened to the tapes, transcribing them, listening for clues to what Bolles was pursuing in the years before his death. Richard Ruelas,, "Lost to Time From the Don Bolles files: Murder and the drug ring's pot plane," 9 July 2019 The interview is transcribed below, edited for length and clarity. Gregory Thomas,, "‘Facebook-topia’: Why we may soon live on corporate island-nations," 29 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about transcribe

Statistics for transcribe

Last Updated

2 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for transcribe

The first known use of transcribe was in 1552

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on transcribe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for transcribe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with transcribe

Spanish Central: Translation of transcribe

Nglish: Translation of transcribe for Spanish Speakers

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).


a calculated move

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!