translate

verb
trans·​late | \ tran(t)s-ˈlāt How to pronounce translate (audio) , tranz-; ˈtran(t)s-ˌlāt, ˈtranz-\
translated; translating

Definition of translate

transitive verb

1a : to turn into one's own or another language
b : to transfer or turn from one set of symbols into another : transcribe
c(1) : to express in different terms and especially different words : paraphrase
(2) : to express in more comprehensible terms : explain, interpret
2a : to bear, remove, or change from one place, state, form, or appearance to another : transfer, transform translate ideas into action
b : to convey to heaven or to a nontemporal condition without death
c : to transfer (a bishop) from one see to another
3 : enrapture
4 : to subject to mathematical translation
5 : to subject (genetic information) to translation in protein synthesis

intransitive verb

1 : to practice translation or make a translation also : to admit of or be adaptable to translation a word that doesn't translate easily
2 : to undergo a translation
3 : lead, result usually used with into believes that tax cuts will translate into economic growth

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from translate

translatability \ (ˌ)tran(t)s-​ˌlā-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce translatability (audio) , (ˌ)tranz-​ \ noun
The translatability of other native two-dimensional designs into the commercial medium of silk screens, however, may not be so clearcut. — Margaret B. Blackman et al.
translatable \ tran(t)s-​ˈlā-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce translatable (audio) , tranz-​ \ adjective
The word is of Derrida's own coinage and is deliberately ambiguous (and therefore not translatable), being derived from the French … — Ann Jefferson … but the resultant information is spotty and not readily translatable into an average national trend. — Barry Commoner
translator \ ˈtran(t)s-​ˌlā-​tər How to pronounce translator (audio) , ˈtranz-​ ; tran(t)s-​ˈlā-​tər , tranz-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for translate

Synonyms

paraphrase, rephrase, restate, reword

Antonyms

quote

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of translate in a Sentence

My client speaks only Spanish. Will you translate for me? The French word “bonjour” translates as “hello” in English. We need someone who can translate Japanese into English. We have translated the report. The book has been translated into 37 languages. Can you translate this technical jargon? Seventy million Americans—that translates into one American out of every four—are under the age of 24.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Initially, Unicaf was essentially a distance-learning platform, taking courses offered by British and American universities, translating them to an online environment and marketing them to Africans. Karin Fischer, New York Times, "Online Classrooms Look to Improve Higher Education Across Africa, but Face Skepticism," 7 June 2019 By positioning itself as a powerful intermediary between the realms of education and government, the College Board has too much control over how the one translates into the other. Annie Abrams, The New Republic, "The College Board Hopes to Profit from “Adversity”," 6 June 2019 It was read by millions around the world, on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives and translated into five languages. Madeline Roache, Time, "Stanford Sexual Assault Survivor 'Emily Doe' to Publish a Memoir," 6 June 2019 Lee6 said through her manager, Jennifer Kim, who translated for her. Joe Juliano, https://www.inquirer.com, "She’s a little bit tired after winning the U.S. Women’s Open, but Jeongeun Lee6 is ready for ShopRite," 5 June 2019 But a manuscript copy of the book was discovered by Goethe, who admired it and translated it into German in 1805. Dan Hofstadter, WSJ, "‘Diderot’ Review: Wherever His Mind Led Him," 15 Feb. 2019 For a tiny human constantly soaking up stimuli and learning to translate it into speech, my daughter’s behavior is completely typical. Carla Bruce-eddings, The Cut, "Why, Why, Why Does My Toddler Repeat Herself So Much?," 15 June 2018 Many of the women who’ve gotten through primaries still face uphill battles in November in Republican-leaning states and districts, where the qualities that endeared them to a Democratic primary electorate might not translate. Molly Ball, Time, "‘It’s a Sea Change’ for Democratic Women in the Primaries," 14 June 2018 The author, 71, has written 179 books, which have been translated into 43 languages. Samantha Leach, Glamour, "How The Hell Has Danielle Steel Managed to Write 179 Books?," 9 May 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2a

History and Etymology for translate

Middle English, from Anglo-French translater, from Latin translatus (past participle of transferre to transfer, translate), from trans- + latus, past participle of ferre to carry — more at tolerate, bear

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about translate

Statistics for translate

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for translate

The first known use of translate was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for translate

translate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of translate

: to change words from one language into another language
: to explain (something) in a way that is easier to understand
: to have the same meaning

translate

verb
trans·​late | \ trans-ˈlāt How to pronounce translate (audio) \
translated; translating

Kids Definition of translate

1 : to turn from one language into another
2 : to change from one form to another Let's translate words into action.

Other Words from translate

translator \ -​ˈlā-​tər \ noun

translate

transitive verb
trans·​late | \ tran(t)s-ˈlāt, tranz- How to pronounce translate (audio) \
translated; translating

Medical Definition of translate

: to subject (as genetic information) to translation in protein synthesis

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on translate

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

WORD OF THE DAY

behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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