decipher

verb
de·​ci·​pher | \ dē-ˈsī-fər How to pronounce decipher (audio) \
deciphered; deciphering; deciphers

Definition of decipher

transitive verb

1 : decode sense 1a decipher a secret message
2 obsolete : depict with her majesty's name deciphered in gold letters— Jonathan Swift
3a : to make out the meaning of despite indistinctness or obscurity trying to decipher her handwriting
b : to interpret the meaning of decipher the poem

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Other Words from decipher

decipherable \ dē-​ˈsī-​f(ə-​)rə-​bəl How to pronounce decipher (audio) \ adjective
decipherer \ dē-​ˈsī-​fər-​ər How to pronounce decipher (audio) \ noun
decipherment \ dē-​ˈsī-​fər-​mənt How to pronounce decipher (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for decipher

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Examples of decipher in a Sentence

I couldn't decipher his sloppy handwriting. we deciphered the hidden message to find out when we were supposed to meet
Recent Examples on the Web And the new 5-inch, color TFT display is sharp, easy to decipher and adds to the bike’s futuristic styling. Manuel Carrillo Iii, Robb Report, 6 Oct. 2021 An auditory system would need to decipher between human cries and sounds that often happen in nature, such as animal calls and wind. Washington Post, 17 June 2021 Scientists have begun to decipher the seismic signals that reveal how explosive a volcanic eruption is going to be. Robin George Andrews, Wired, 6 June 2021 Now, Lindell's fraud campaign is fizzling and his endgame is getting harder to decipher. Stephen Montemayor, Star Tribune, 12 Mar. 2021 Google listened to its rebellious staff and pulled out of the project to use AI to decipher aerial surveillance footage. Thomas Brewster, Forbes, 8 Sep. 2021 Quantum gravity was also at work in the first moments of the Big Bang, but direct signals from that era are long gone, leaving us to decipher subtle clues that first appeared hundreds of thousands of years later. Quanta Magazine, 7 Sep. 2021 Trying to imbue those moments with greater import, however, soon proves a wearisome endeavor, especially considering that, aside from a few melancholic soundtrack arrangements, there’s little way to decipher their overarching intention. Nick Schager, Variety, 25 Aug. 2021 This type of information can be used to decipher future warnings as pivotal points take shape. Stephanie Innes, The Arizona Republic, 14 Aug. 2021

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

1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for decipher

Time Traveler

The first known use of decipher was in 1545

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Dictionary Entries Near decipher

decimosexto

decipher

deciphering alphabet

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Statistics for decipher

Last Updated

20 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Decipher.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/decipher. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for decipher

decipher

verb

English Language Learners Definition of decipher

: to find the meaning of (something that is difficult to read or understand)

decipher

verb
de·​ci·​pher | \ dē-ˈsī-fər How to pronounce decipher (audio) \
deciphered; deciphering

Kids Definition of decipher

1 : to translate from secret or mysterious writing : decode
2 : to make out the meaning of something not clear I can't decipher her sloppy handwriting.

More from Merriam-Webster on decipher

Nglish: Translation of decipher for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of decipher for Arabic Speakers

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