verb trans·mog·ri·fy \ tran(t)s-ˈmä-grə-ˌfī , tranz- \

Definition of transmogrify

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


play \(ˌ)tran(t)s-ˌmä-grə-fə-ˈkā-shən, (ˌ)tranz-\ noun

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Recent Examples of transmogrify from the Web

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.

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."

Origin and Etymology of transmogrify

origin unknown

Synonym Discussion of 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

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