trans·​mog·​ri·​fy | \ tran(t)s-ˈmä-grə-ˌfī How to pronounce transmogrify (audio) , tranz-\
transmogrified; transmogrifying

Definition of transmogrify

transitive verb

: to change or alter greatly and often with grotesque or humorous effect

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Other Words from transmogrify

transmogrification \ (ˌ)tran(t)s-​ˌmä-​grə-​fə-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce transmogrification (audio) , (ˌ)tranz-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for transmogrify

transform, metamorphose, transmute, convert, transmogrify, transfigure mean to change a thing into a different thing. transform implies a major change in form, nature, or function. transformed a small company into a corporate giant metamorphose suggests an abrupt or startling change induced by or as if by magic or a supernatural power. awkward girls metamorphosed into graceful ballerinas transmute implies transforming into a higher element or thing. attempted to transmute lead into gold convert implies a change fitting something for a new or different use or function. converted the study into a nursery transmogrify suggests a strange or preposterous metamorphosis. a story in which a frog is transmogrified into a prince transfigure implies a change that exalts or glorifies. joy transfigured her face

Did You Know?

We know that the prefix trans- means "across" or "beyond" and appears in many words that evoke change, such as "transform" and "transpire," but we don't know the exact origins of "transmogrify." The 17th-century dramatist, novelist, and poet Aphra Behn, who is regarded as England's first female professional writer, was among the first English authors to use the word. In her 1671 comic play The Amorous Prince, Behn wrote, "I wou'd Love would transmogriphy me to a maid now." A century later, Scottish poet Robert Burns plied the word again in verse, aptly capturing the grotesque and sometimes humorous effect of transmogrification: "Social life and Glee sit down, . . . Till, quite transmugrify'd, they're grown Debauchery and Drinking."

Examples of transmogrify in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

And the widespread rioting in France shows the dangers of allowing a healthy dose of democracy to transmogrify into a brutal majoritarianism. Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, "Macron’s Warning to America’s Ascendant Left," 6 Dec. 2018 Within a matter of hours, a possible act of anti-auction protest by an inveterate art prankster had been transmogrified by the churning gears of the market into an auction-reifying, value-amplifying piece of monetizable performance art. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "The Price of Everything,," 18 Oct. 2018 Well that Don Lemon seems to have transmogrified into someone else, namely a person who has smart takes on the Confederate flag and NFL knee-taking. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "raceAhead: Everyone's Mad at H&M," 9 Jan. 2018 An image of close but alien nature forever struggling to connect and transmogrify, its pathos is spellbinding. Christopher Knight,, "At Park View gallery, a spellbinding trip into a world turned upside down," 9 Oct. 2017 The Wylie-Hoffert job was that film transmogrified. James Ellroy, Vanities, "James Ellroy’s Buzz M for Murder," 7 Oct. 2017 Barring major unforeseen changes, Putin will be re-elected in 2018, and initiate Russia’s transmogrified, resilient autocracy into its next 100 years. Olga Ingurazova, Smithsonian, "What Ever Happened to the Russian Revolution?," 29 Sep. 2017 What happened to Tulip Fever along the way, to transmogrify it from high-end awards contender to a studio’s secret shame? David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Long, Strange Trip of Tulip Fever to Theaters," 31 Aug. 2017 Some who age their own beer may take a page from the wine lover’s handbook and hoard bottles in home cellars, shepherding their treasures carefully into the future as time and oxygen transmogrify the ales. John Verive,, "How to age beer, and why you should probably try it," 11 May 2017

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

1656, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for transmogrify

origin unknown

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The first known use of transmogrify was in 1656

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