trans·​la·​tion | \ tran(t)s-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce translation (audio) , tranz-\

Definition of translation

1 : an act, process, or instance of translating: such as
a : a rendering from one language into another also : the product of such a rendering
b : a change to a different substance, form, or appearance : conversion
c(1) : a transformation of coordinates in which the new axes are parallel to the old ones
(2) : uniform motion of a body in a straight line
2 : the process of forming a protein molecule at a ribosomal site of protein synthesis from information contained in messenger RNA — compare transcription sense 3

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Other Words from translation

translational \ tran(t)s-​ˈlā-​shnəl How to pronounce translational (audio) , tranz-​ , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of translation in a Sentence

She is working on a translation of the novel. a new translation of the Iliad There were English translations on the menu. the translation of economic power into political strength
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Recent Examples on the Web The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that local standards of facilities and training may be lower than in the U.S. and that mistakes in translation or communication can result in mistreatment. Mike Salmon,, "Dental tourism: A vacation and bargain dentistry to boot," 5 Sep. 2019 Microsoft is also developing a new Fluid Framework that will improve Office in the browser, with a new flexible document format, text translation, and multi-person collaboration. Tom Warren, The Verge, "Microsoft renames Office Online to just Office," 24 July 2019 From 1882 until the end of the century, a new Ibsen play appeared every other December, in time for the Christmas shopping season, with translations released shortly afterward in English, French, Russian, Dutch, and German. Andrew Katzenstein, Harper's magazine, "The Radical Conservative," 16 Sep. 2019 Officer Trujillo assisted with English to Spanish translation and completed the accident report in this case. Houston Chronicle, "Bellaire Police Department weekly report," 16 Sep. 2019 On cable, the debate will air live nationally on ABC and Univision (with a Spanish translation), and locally in Houston on KTRK-TV., "When and where is the debate?," 13 Sep. 2019 Despite the rise of translation software, people prefer to be served by fellow humans who can speak their mother tongue. The Economist, "In Britain, command of a foreign language is still à la mode," 13 Sep. 2019 The debate will air live on ABC with Spanish translation on Univision and online at ABC News Live. Leada Gore |, al, "Democratic presidential debate: Time, channel, how to watch; Who will be on the stage?," 12 Sep. 2019 The debate will air on ABC and Univision (with Spanish translation). Wire Service, The Mercury News, "What time is the Democratic debate, and who made the cut?," 12 Sep. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for translation

Last Updated

31 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for translation

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

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More Definitions for translation


How to pronounce translation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of translation

: words that have been changed from one language into a different language : words that have been translated
: the act or process of translating something into a different language
formal : the act or process of changing something from one form to another


trans·​la·​tion | \ trans-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce translation (audio) \

Kids Definition of translation

: the act, process, or result of changing from one form or language into another


trans·​la·​tion | \ tran(t)s-ˈlā-shən, tranz- How to pronounce translation (audio) \

Medical Definition of translation

: the process of forming a protein molecule at a ribosomal site of protein synthesis from information contained in messenger RNA — compare transcription

Other Words from translation

translational \ -​shnəl, -​shən-​ᵊl How to pronounce translational (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on translation

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


an agreement to stop fighting a war

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