verb trans·mute \tran(t)s-ˈmyüt, tranz-\

Definition of transmute




  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to change or alter in form, appearance, or nature and especially to a higher form

  3. 2 :  to subject (something, such as an element) to transmutation

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to undergo transmutation


play \-ˈmyü-tə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of transmute in a sentence

  1. The stories of their lives were transmuted into works of fiction.

  2. The former criminal had transmuted into a national hero.

Did You Know?

Transmutation changes something over into something else. Thus, a writer may transmute his life into stories or novels, and an arranger might transmute a lively march tune into a quiet lullaby. In the "Myth of Er" at the end of Plato's Republic, for example, human souls are transmuted into the body and existence of their choice. Having learned from their last life what they do not want to be, many choose transmutation into something that seems better. A meek man chooses to be transmuted into a tyrant, a farmer into a dashing (but short-lived) warrior, and so on. But very few seem to have learned anything from their former life that would make their choice a real improvement.

Origin and Etymology of transmute

Middle English, from Latin transmutare, from trans- + mutare to change — more at mutable

First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of transmute

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

TRANSMUTE Defined for English Language Learners


verb trans·mute \tran(t)s-ˈmyüt, tranz-\

Definition of transmute for English Language Learners

  • : to completely change the form, appearance, or nature of (someone or something)

Law Dictionary


transitive verb trans·mute \tranz-ˈmyüt, trans-\

Legal Definition of transmute



  1. :  to convert or transform the type of ownership of (property) by transmutation did not transmute the properties themselves into marital assets — In re Siddens, 588 N.E.2d 321 (1992)

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Seen and Heard

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


feeling or affected by lethargy

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