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 transmogrify (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 Christians have been borrowing from other religions since the days when the pagan feast of Saturnalia transmogrified into Christmas and the Gaelic festival of Samhain became All Saints’ Day. The Economist, "Power in the Catholic church is shifting south and exposing divisions," 24 Oct. 2019 In 1992, the Bitterroot Valley was changing all around us, the beginning of the land-development boom that would transmogrify the valley during our years there. Hal Herring, Field & Stream, "How Do You Cope with the Death of a Great Dog?," 12 May 2020 As Thursday’s indictment shows, the two men largely plied their way into the Republican Party’s political structures with raw cash, effectively transmogrifying it into congressional influence and presidential favor. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "An All-American Campaign Finance Scandal," 11 Oct. 2019 With an average of 31 wins and two playoff appearances over the last eight seasons, the Los Angeles Lakers have transmogrified into some version of, well, the old Los Angeles Clippers. Jack Mccallum,, "A Clippers Summer: How L.A.’s ‘Other’ Team Stole the NBA Offseason," 9 July 2019 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

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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Cite this Entry

“Transmogrify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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