un·​scram·​ble | \ ˌən-ˈskram-bəl How to pronounce unscramble (audio) \
unscrambled; unscrambling; unscrambles

Definition of unscramble

transitive verb

1 : to separate (something, such as a conglomeration or tangle) into original components : resolve, clarify
2 : to restore (scrambled communication) to intelligible form

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Other Words from unscramble

unscrambler \ ˌən-​ˈskram-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce unscramble (audio) \ noun

Examples of unscramble in a Sentence

We weren't able to unscramble the satellite signal. Unscramble the letters ALCEDNRA to spell “CALENDAR.”
Recent Examples on the Web Young’s heirs were, by the time of the exhibit, enmeshed in a bid to unscramble what had happened. Deirdra Funcheon, Washington Post, "Who Should Get the Artwork of Purvis Young?," 8 Jan. 2020 Disentangling itself while determining new rules is a process that has been likened to unscrambling an omelet. Peter S. Goodman, New York Times, "Post-Brexit, Britain Is Going Its Own Way. That Way Looks Expensive.," 25 Feb. 2020 The psychologists split the volunteers into three groups, each of which had to unscramble some words before doing the puzzle. Tom Chivers, Scientific American, "What’s Next for Psychology’s Embattled Field of Social Priming," 13 Feb. 2020 In time, her abilities helped her rise to become a cryptographer, unscrambling messages from the German navy. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "37 Women Who’ve Upended Science, Tech, and Engineering For the Better," 25 Feb. 2020 But Sanborn says unscrambling that phrase won't exactly lead you to a quick victory. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Nobody Has Solved This Cryptographic Puzzle for 30 Years. Think You Can?," 3 Feb. 2020 Another piece of good news is that the passwords Mixcloud does keep on file are encrypted, making them unlikely to be unscrambled by hackers. Tatiana Cirisano, Billboard, "Mixcloud Says Hackers Stole 'Minority' of Users' Passwords in Security Breach," 2 Dec. 2019 Because your descendants must wait for the second detector to be triggered, there’s no way to unscramble the message before its time. Quanta Magazine, "Quantum Weirdness Now a Matter of Time," 19 Jan. 2016 However, Alice has also generated a secret private key, mathematically related to the public one, that helps her unscramble the message through computations like Bob’s. Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Cryptographers scramble to protect the internet from hackers with quantum computers," 21 Aug. 2019

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

circa 1920, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for unscramble

Time Traveler

The first known use of unscramble was circa 1920

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Cite this Entry

“Unscramble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unscramble. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for unscramble


How to pronounce unscramble (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unscramble

: to change (something, such as a message or an electronic signal) from a form that cannot be understood to a form that can be properly displayed, heard, read, etc.


un·​scram·​ble | \ ˌən-ˈskram-bəl How to pronounce unscramble (audio) \
unscrambled; unscrambling

Kids Definition of unscramble

: to make orderly or clear again If you unscramble the letters they spell a word.

More from Merriam-Webster on unscramble

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Nglish: Translation of unscramble for Spanish Speakers

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